A nation of great excitement about elections

Casting of vote during a Nigerian election. Photo The Guardian

How one wishes our citizens were as excited and committed in ensuring the accountability of politicians as they are of getting them elected into various offices.

There are not a few who could be killed or maimed in the mad enthusiasm to demonstrate political support or loyalty in the coming elections.

One federal legislator, in the only contribution he ever made in the House, called for an increase in constituency allowances because his people were always asking for food and money each time he visited home and he went on to enumerate how the prices of food items and livestock had skyrocketed.


For these deprived and impoverished Nigerians, Election 2019 would be Christmas-come -late as they scramble for whatever little crumbs they can pick from underneath the tables of corrupt and greedy politicians.

So-called pastors and imams have refused to be left out in this great enthusiasm or excitement. They not only solicit support, directly or indirectly, for politicians, they also compete among themselves in prophesying on who the next president of Nigeria would be.

God is omniscient, never confused about the choice He has made. However, our religious prophets tend to dispute this assumption or belief. They have revealed virtually every presidential candidate as the choice of God in 2019. But my God is not a god of perm any one from 5, there would nevertheless be those wanting to take credit for the revelation of God when one candidate eventually triumphs as president in February.

The one prediction one is looking forward to ascertaining its authenticity is that of Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of African Action Congress, winning the 2019 election.

One pastor who claimed he predicted the successful election of Donald Trump in the 2016 American presidential election, has been telling whoever cared to listen that Mr. Sowore would be our next President, by virtue of the anointment of God.

While the election of Trump was not the big shock some has made of it, that of Sowore would definitely be one.


Donald Trump was candidate to a major political party, while the political party of Omoyele Sowore has hardly registered with many Nigerians.

A shrewd punter might want to invest a naira on this young, charismatic politician for a possible return of a million naira, for that is the type of financial risk anyone would want to take on him becoming president by election, considering the realities of contemporary Nigerian politics.

The one safe bet, although long closed, would have been that of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo not supporting the re-election bid of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

There would not have been much money to be made from such a bet. Former President Obasanjo can be stingy in his generosity towards friends.

If he has supported a political friend in winning one election, he cannot see why that friend would want to be greedy as to want to win a second one.

Based on history, his refusal to support Buhari would have been considered a “sure banker” by punters.

Obasanjo supported the late Alhaji Shehu Shagari to win the presidential election of 1979 but withdrew that support when the latter sought re-election in 1983.


The same Chief Obasanjo ensured the candidacy of Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, but would withdraw his support for his re-election in 2015.

History would suggest Obasanjo does not support a candidate for two elections. He had supported Buhari in 2015 and there was no point bothering him with another support in 2019.

In dumping Jonathan in 2015, Obasanjo had, in a letter in 2013, accused him of spawning a support base of ethnic militants, corrupt politicians and armed militia, all for the personal agenda of survival.

“I could sense the situation that we are gradually getting into and the situation we fell into as a nation during the Abacha era”.

He alluded to an allegation that Jonathan had 1,000 people on political watch list and that snipers were being trained to eliminate political opponents, as if Obasanjo had become permanently fixated with Sani Abacha who could easily have killed him in detention, his accusation that the Buhari administration was drifting towards an Abacha-like tyranny could be understandable whenever he has chosen to express personal fear and there was someone to blame for it.

There are not much differences for the reasons Obasanjo chose to dump both Jonathan and Buhari in their bids to be re-elected into office.


What might surprise many, though, is his recent romance with Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President he had vilified so much and dismissed, more or less, as a worthless person.

Someone asked me to volunteer a possible explanation as to why Obasanjo had returned to his vomit by now routing for Atiku to be our next president.

The explanation I tried to conjure was that of a person already boxed into a corner.

For someone who has chosen not to toe the path of neutrality by assuming the role of an elder statesman, Obasanjo had no choice than to support the candidacy of someone with the wherewithal to dislodge Buhari in the 2019 election.

If there was another presidential candidate with that potential other than Atiku, Obasanjo would probably have been supporting that candidate. Just the simple guess of an analyst!

• Akinola wrote from United Kingdom

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