President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari taking a call from President Goodluck Jonathan who called to congratulate him on winning the 2015 election

XCLUSIVE – Buhari: the Making of a New Nigerian President

President-elect General Buhari taking a call from President Jonathan who called to congratulate him
President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari taking a call from President Goodluck Jonathan who called to congratulate him on winning the 2015 election
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There is always a definite end to everything that has a beginning…sometimes the end means closure and it ultimately purges us of all emotions giving us what scholars of literature would call catharsis. To some, the end brings relief or hope or joy. But in as much as we want to deny this, the end brings sorrow, anguish and despair to many others.

The Presidential elections of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that was held nationwide on Saturday, 28 March 2015 and Sunday, 29 March 2015 in some cases, is not an exemption in the phenomenon of ‘beginning and end.’ It has come and it has gone, leaving us with the consequences of the exercise to bear.

While the end of this exercise has left some in jubilation and singing for joy, it has left others in anguish and possibly debt. However, this is normal for every competition there must be songs of victory in one camp and looks of despair in the other camp.

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As expected, the intrigues that preceded last Saturday’s polls were numerous. On several occasions, blood pressures rose as heartbeats escalated. Through it all, patriotic Nigerians were at the edge of their seats watching with bated breaths the outcome of their patriotism.

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Needless to say, there were acts of bravery and courage; also there were acts of cowardice on the part of the Nigerian voter. Paranoia got the best of so many, fear of the unknown made many shun the queue of the polling units and hide in their rooms with all doors barred!

Heavy collections of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were recorded but on Saturday, the cards sat smugly in wallets and purses waiting to serve other purposes and not the purpose for which it was provided. Who could blame us? The tension of the campaigns alone had drained us…less than half of registered voters turned out to vote.

 People celebrating in the northern city of Kaduna
People celebrating in the northern city of Kaduna

Yet many braved the scorching sun, despised the cloudy skies and waited patiently even through the initial scuffles of the card readers. Not even the blast in Gombe could thwart the patriotic Mallams – they were determined. They wanted change or continuity as the case may be.

Intrigues and more intrigues. We witnessed the Godsday Orubebe drama! An elder statesman and Nigerian former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs turned himself to a troublemaker-cum-comedian for 20 minutes. Some found it amusing, others found it aggravating and many found it interesting.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega became the centre of attention, as his name became a song on every lip; old and young. “Jega, Jega, Jega,” our children sang. We hated him, then loved him, we got angry at some points then he pleased us again…in the end, his diplomacy endeared him to us. He saved the day!

VIDEO- Jega is Tribalistic, Selective and Partial – Godsday Orubebe

The returning officer for Rivers State and the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun Delta State, Prof. John Ovwata Etu-Efeotor, also made history. Daylight, hi-tech lightning, the torches and his spectacles were not bright enough to help him read out the results! Did we notice the halogen lamp that was fetched? How amusing indeed!

Pens were poised on papers; calculators waited for the large sums…we all became politicians in the making of a new President.

Alas, we didn’t wait forever, the deed was done. And we saw it when President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party gallantly accepted defeat, called up General Muhammadu Buhari. “Congratulations, sir,” he said to the President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Here comes change…and here, the quest ends!

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