Election Postponement: Be not discouraged!

Staff separate ballot boxes before delivery to polling stations ahead of Nigeria’s Presidential election at an office of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria, on February 14, 2019. Nigeria’s presidential candidates wrapped up their election campaigns, making a final pitch to voters before Africa’s most populous country heads into the polls on February 16, 2019. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…’We can borrow a leaf from this significant ancient word of Ecclesiastes that this is not a time to ask questions whose answers will blow in the wind forever. It is not a time to read at all from a book of lamentation. Just like the Issaccharites, it is time to understand the times that now shape our destiny. I am persuaded that it is time for the spiritual man to strengthen the natural man to understand that this is not a time to bicker. We need to note that it is not a time to blame the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)alone and even any cabal. It is time to say to one another, be not discouraged by any nocturnal postponement of election on the day of that election. It is not a time to ask questions about whose script is being implemented on this thing called election. It is just a time to let only Nigeria win. It is not a time to analyse the person who caused the rain to beat us so mercilessly. It is a time to reflect on how to beat the rainmaker – and conquer our low spirituality, our emptiness.

I looked into the seed of time of time the other day and saw ‘curious desperation to lose Nigeria’ by people we have trusted to keep the country safe. I also once advised the nation on the need for vigilance over our fragile democracy. Before that, on this same page, I had drawn the attention of the power elite in the far north to the expediency of examining the consequences of allowing PMB to run again as an old man who could win re-election and then lose Nigeria. I said then that the taciturn, lanky General was too old to run. But no one cares about the warnings of the oracles anymore. But we have since gone beyond that. Yesterday we scored another first in a ‘Guinness Book of Records’ as the first country to postpone a general election on the day of election.

But despite the shock, I would like to appeal to people who are still asking about how we got here that lamentation book is not a strategy paper. Election is not an event: it is a process that has just failed and the brains behind the debacle will not give up. They have a strategy to confine us to the social media where we are sometimes paid to lament and go to bed and resume from there to continue to lament until nothing happens. It is therefore a time to be vigilant even as we are prayerful. We need to understand the times so that we do not perish again for lack of knowledge of the principalities and powers that would not want the 2019 elections to hold. Don’t begin to compile their names. You don’t know all of them. They are ubiquitous. They are members of our households even of faith. They are in our streets, our families and even in our churches and mosques. They are everywhere we go! Don’t look at the Abuja people alone. That your brother and sister you always collect money from may be part of the trouble with elections in the country. It is not INEC alone.

I just wish to say, it is time to understand the times and know what we ought to do to get out of the complications we are courting at the moment. We need to fix the broken walls and the desecrated temple of justice. But it is more urgent to fix the election whose pregnancy is facing strange miscarriage threat. It is time to keep vigil over this democracy. We need to fight a good fight for the country. As the ancient words have noted, ‘Christians! seek not yet repose, Hear thy guardian angel say; Thou art still in the midst of foes, Watch and pray…’

No doubt, those who have kept Nigeria down; those who want the labour of our heroes past to be in vain are still around. They are still in power at all levels, and in all the arms of government. As I noted the other day, here, democracy has some powers to fix some of these challenges but there should be no room for complacency at this stage. As Alan Paton in ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ counsels too:
‘When the storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house. But when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house’.

As I was saying here, I am fully persuaded that it is time to step aside from the distractions that the unprepared presidency and other gubernatorial absurdities in the states touch off daily. Alas, they distracted us yesterday with the news of postponement of presidential and national assembly elections. The distraction is curiously shifting to more clarifications about how some memoranda from the office of a security chief and some risk managers in the system triggered the monumental distraction. This is part of a lamentation that will not stop the wickedness of the wicked to come to an end.

They always distract us with frivolities of their unpreparedness for the high offices they occupy in all the states of the complex federation. They pre-occupy us (in the media) with issues in the news that do not add value to the about 59- year country that is also annoying an expectant world every year with its stories of only potentiality of its greatness.
But it is not a time to tell our dealers who call themselves leaders that they are all hypocrites and scoundrels in power. It is not yet a time to remind them that they massively shirked their role as security chiefs. We don’t have to remind them now that they allowed the wickedness of the wicked to be on the rampage. Though we know it, we don’t have to make noise again that because they are congenitally wicked,they curiously created a large pool of mourners and orphans in the Middle Belt and North East. The gory stories no longer touch the hearts of state actors. But they asked all the bereaved to close their mouths, lest they would be charged as hate-speech merchants and culprits. They are the state. We know it but this is not a time to be boisterous about that.

It is a time to organise and so not a time to agonise. It is a time to retire them democratically through the ballot. It is a time to swallow our pride and vanity about democracy and its power to develop. It is a time to be organised and enthusiastic. It is not a time to organise a blame-game town-hall. It is a time to rebuild. So, be not discouraged. Be not afraid, as our Creator has told us 365 times in His ancient words that are ever true. They can arm-twist the election management agency in the name of politics. We should ignore the shenanigans they can’t unlearn. We know where they are going. We should not be weary. Nigeria, our Nigeria is bigger than them. Wefaced worse monsters before but they can’t learn from that chapter of our history.

Yes, we know they are all villains. We are aware that they generate more hate speeches against the office of the citizen and call the citizens ‘hate speakers’. What they have created most (hate speech) is what they are calling critical observers and opinion writers. They are all hypocrites! But despite that we should not be discouraged because this is our country. We should not leave the elections process for them to manipulate.

They have un-artfully dodged to the realm of condemning ‘fake news promoters’ even as they dispense more fake news as their invisible achievements all over the vast kingdom. They are all hypocrites!

We need to be vigilant as citizens who are enthusiastic about rebuilding our country. The scoundrels who want to ruin Nigeria can use ‘unexpected attack as a weapon of warfare this way if we doze off again.

The use of surprise is always quite handy in any war. If the enemy can catch you off guard, they have a real advantage. This was certainly the case on Sunday December 7, 1941 at 7:48 a.m. when 353 Japanese airplanes attacked Pearl Harbor.

The two waves of Japanese attacks were over in an hour and a half, but America paid a tremendous price during this brief but ferocious period. All up nearly 20 warships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships. Some 2400 Americans were killed, as well as 1200 wounded.

So, those who travelled to their old locations last week at great cost – just to vote should not be discouraged by the curious postponement yesterday. Be strong and courageous. The God of all grace will be with you wherever you go. You can choose to be strong and courageous even when you are feeling very weak economically at this time. However, the weaker you feel, the more effort it takes to choose to be strong. If you gaze at yourself and your problems, your courage will melt away according to Sarah Young. Take another step of faith whenever they are ready for election. Even when everything seems to be going wrong, refuse to get discouraged.

Be encouraged that the God of all Grace who created Nigeria as the most populous black nation on earth, is infinitely creative and powerful. With Him, all things are possible. The longer you wait for your prayers to be answered, the closer you are to a breakthrough. But Miracles don’t just happen. You should return to that polling booth with your powerful PVC. They want us to be discouraged by what John. F Kennedy once called, ‘clear and present danger’. We should let Nigeria alone win any time. It is not about Buhari and Atiku. It is all about Nigeria that Africa and indeed the black race have been waiting for as a source of pride and confidence.

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