I woke up this morning to the news that the 2019 presidential election had been cancelled and further postponed to the 23rd of February, 2019; my sister had barged into the room to break the news to me. My first thought was, that is not possible, that sort of joke is not even funny at all, I told her; I was still wearing my cloak of doubt when she showed me the clip of the INEC Chairman confirming the cancellation. I was shell shocked; I couldn’t say anything, but the word and question, again? kept playing itself in my head, repeatedly and nonstop. I remembered this happened in 2011 and 2015, now 2019 and worse of all, barely 6 hours to the election proper. It is true that as a country, we have our issues, difficulties and limitations, but still there are certain things that even for us are beyond absurd and downright ridiculous.
There is definitely no use bothering or lamenting about the past, but a past that continually repeats itself shows that those involved have learnt no lesson, or we can suspiciously say, this was strategically orchestrated. Few hours before the cancellation, the INEC chairman in a tweet on their twitter page (which for some reason got deleted) still assured Nigerians that the election was going to hold and it had everything under its control, fast-forward hours later, it released another tweet for the erasure of the said election it had given assurance of being held, so it is not an indictment if one is to surmise that there definitely is something fishy encompassing the nullification/postponement of the election. Furthermore, Mahmoud Yakubu had one major thing (job) to do in the four years he got nominated as the INEC Chairman, that was to ensure that power either changed hands or was retained in a free and fair electoral process after four years, he had four years to prepare for the 16th of February, and unless he is as incapable as his current actions looks, he would have definitely been working towards the slated election date, which is definitely another reason for my suspected machinations at rigging this election. Another reason to suspect foul play is the motivation behind the deferment; according to the Chairman, logistics and weather were reasons why it was deferred to 23rd, I wonder if the weather forecast for 16th changed and if we were going to witness for the first time a global tsunami in our country, or now we are suppose to use rain or excessive sunshine, or maybe the harshness of the harmattan as reasons for cancelling future slated elections; weather? That’s baffling. To logistics, the movement of electoral materials started one week prior the election date, the chairman is indirectly saying that the Commission has so far been lackadaisical about their sole duty, if not, then the reasons for cancelling isn’t exactly what is, and there instead lie a hidden motive to that effect.
Needless to say, Nigeria and Nigerians deserves every positive change that she craves or have prayed for, and to that effect, since the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission cannot deem it fit to give a direct apology but would rather take us on adjectival lessons, I am here to say this; it is true that the losses for 16th has been irreparable, because most people had had to cancel serious and important appointments and engagement to ensure they vote, others have had to travel to various state to see that they also vote, many have lost their lives in the cause of the so called election, and others in fear are saying at the moment “let this election just come and go, so we can be free of the insecurities it brought”, I know all this, and I’m sorry we are having to go through all this, but let’s call it the undeniable fate of a country on its journey to change.
I am sorry we have had to go through all this, but the journey hasn’t ended, we’ve only just began, and we cannot end or stop the progress along the way. So, if you have to travel back and back again for the election come 23rd of February, then do it, because there is no other way to say it than this “PLEASE VOTE COME 23RD”. If it means rescheduling your wedding date, or any appointment you’ve had planned before now, then do, because we’ve been given an opportunity to have our own stories, this is where we all get to tell our children about what we had to give up for our country, about what we too have also had to sacrifice in our own little way for our country Nigeria, just like our fathers before us. Only, it doesn’t end there, you’ll have to practice self vigilance and protection; following the President’s military go ahead to gun down any body caught in the act of ballot box theft, and the military’s assurance to follow such directives to the latter, we will all have to be careful, because truth be told, everybody just became a suspect. Be very mindful of the things you say publicly that has to do with the election or its candidates, desist from getting into any argument with anybody on the voting ground, cast your vote as quietly and carefully as you can; if it’s possible to stay back for the counting, then do, if not, return home immediately you’ve voted, do not linger to banter with anybody, you can do that some other day. Do not buy the mentality they’ve tried to pass around, that our vote doesn’t count, because it does, so we will all go out to vote, we will not be threatened to silence, for we’ve stayed silent long enough.
We will play our part as citizens, and commit the rest into the ever trusting hands of God. `