So the 2019 elections begin in a week. Unbelievable!


For those who have been around for a number of elections cycles, the 2019 elections will stand out as something really special. But not special in the traditional sense.

For the first time in the history, politicians have run out of what to say or do before Nigerians at campaign rallies. Before now, there would be singing and dancing. Down to earth singing and dancing. There would also be oratory spiced with fire and fury. Intense, really intense.

Most of the promises may be lies, but they are believable lies. A few may be real promises though without form and often end up in the same basket with those that are outright lies. All the same it was a period for merriment or jollification. It was a season to share the dividends of democracy. And everyone in the political ecosystem looked forward to it. Hoping to make a few bucks in a four-year cycle, no matter what it is worth.

The artisans will print posters and T-shirts. Young men will paste posters all over the place such that everywhere you turn, a politician running for office will stare at you in the face. Copy writers will churn out jingles, interesting jingles that you will remember long after the elections are over.
But here we are, a week to the elections and everything appears to be like a ship that has lost its engine and drifting slowly away in calm but deep waters. But for the little controversies fuelled by social media activists, there isn’t much excitement in the air. And the politicians know this. So, they have been finding some ways to turn up the heat on that front. El Rufai came up with his body-bag flame throw. The PDP jumped at it like a fly into an ointment. Not even Governor Wike, the chief priest of violent talk was able to look away. He asked America and the European Union to grab El Rufai and send him to the Hague.

The Defence Ministry and the Army are not left out in melee either. They have been issuing serious warnings about evil plans by some politicians to set the country ablaze if they lose at the elections, especially the presidential election. But come to think of it, who is really worried about the outbreak of violence? The two leading candidates are not only from the north, they are from the same ethnic stock. They are also of the same religion. All the “radical elements” that ignite violence are in the same pot. It is therefore difficult to see how the country will go up in flames if either candidate loses.

This time in 2015, some people were leaving the north to their regions down south. The fear of the outbreak of violence was real. Not this time.

However, there are some specks of entertainment here and there. Madam Oby is in a horn-fight with her party leadership over the N48m she is said to have raised for her now abandoned bid to be president. Jerry Gana and Donald Duke are in a Sumo wrestling match over the presidential ticket of a Party that has endorsed the presidential candidate of the APC, President Buhari.

In Zamfara and Rivers, the APC may not field any candidates for any position. That may be the first time in the history of Nigeria. An interesting development over the attempt by a few individuals to control the entire process of picking candidates. Even when, they can still do whatever they want to do by pretending to be quasi democratic, they would rather flex their muscles to show they are the “boss or the Al Capone”. Now two states are going to be wiped off the ballot.

All things considered, Nigeria is coasting along. Destination remains unknown. Irrespective of what happens on February 16 and March 2, 2019, nothing much may change in terms of real development. However, I would want to be proved wrong.

(Cover image courtesy, farabale)

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