It Is Well With Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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It Is Well With Nigeria

Posted: Jun 3, 2015 at 12:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Opinions appeared evenly divided over the chances of Nigeria becoming a failed state in 2015 as predicted by a US right-wing political think-tank. But not many people were willing to call the bookmakers’ bluff that Nigeria would be in the throes of a profound post-election crisis, given that the polity was increasingly held in the vice-grip of ethnic and religious tension as D-Day approached.

But the respective ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ predictions turned out to be an anticlimax. The rest of the world still cannot believe that Nigeria isn’t witnessing a bloody orgy to be feasted on by the heehawing western media. O, these enigmatic Nigerians!

It is often said that truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction and you can look no further than the tranquility that followed on the heels of the official announcement of the presidential results to confirm the veracity of this adage. It appeared that many ethnic nationalities were adamant not to heed any calls to toe the path of peace. What with the heated and acrimonious campaign of hate embarked on by politicians in the two major political parties and the pervasive pulp fiction on the social media.

Throw into this mix the rabid barking of former (repentant?) militants and rabble-rousers in the North and Niger Delta and their delinquent patrons and you will begin to get a picture of the violence that was just waiting to happen, or so it seemed. It didn’t help matters too that hordes of marabouts and pastors began to proclaim discordant ‘prophetic’ outcomes of the presidential election. It was common knowledge that money of every denomination was flying around the place and all manner of charlatans were only in the game for the money, ostensibly in the name of ‘God.’

An incumbent president had just received an unprecedented electoral shellacking and not a few people expected him to use the enormous powers of incumbency to set the nation ablaze by unleashing the coercive forces of State against the opposition in a Gestapo fashion. But for reasons we may not now fully understand – and which ex-President Goodluck Jonathan may or may not choose to disclose in his memoirs – he unexpectedly threw in the towel by calling his major opponent to concede defeat even before the official results were announced, and in so doing forged an enduring legacy for himself.

I’ve heard it said that God is a Nigerian; I’ve become a big believer. Prayers were constantly made by churches and mosques for peace to reign before, during and after the elections. I’m fully persuaded that both the relative observable peace and Jonathan’s early concession were God’s answers to our prayers. It couldn’t have been otherwise.

But it must be said that Jonathan’s concession didn’t go down well with his teeming supporters in some sections of the country. Truth be told, the prevailing peace is very surreal. I say this because there were millions of die-hard fans of the defeated president who were praying for a last-minute ‘miracle.’

You could tell this by the drift of their posts in the social media and private conversations. They kept hoping against hope that even though Buhari might have been declared the winner of the election by INEC (note my deliberate choice of words), he won’t be able to take the oath of office, and even if he did, he won’t stay a minute longer than is necessary on the seat! It was that bad.

But God not only quenched all external and internal fiery darts aimed at this nation, he also threw the horse and its rider into the sea. What remains now is for self-appointed Buhari-bashers to give the man a fighting chance. Fervently wishing for Buhari to falter so they can say, “We told you so” does the nation a great disservice because if Buhari fails, it is the nation that stands to lose the most.

While watching the presidential inauguration on television – and hearing the newly sworn-in president read his first address to the nation – I experienced a witness in my heart that the nation is on the path to living out her full potential. But all hands must be on deck to make it happen. Great times are indeed ahead. It is certainly well with our dearly beloved nation.