Nigerians are gradually coming to grips with the impossibility of conducting just about any elections without bloodshed. No final number is possible at the moment but no less than 100 souls would have gone at the end of the first of a two-part electoral contest yesterday. The Northeast, Southeast, Southsouth and Southwest have been the killing grounds for sundry reasons in this instance. While that of the Northeast requires no explanations, that of the remaining regions have to do mainly with clashes between fierce interests, suspected thugs and security forces and plain cases of targeted elimination as happened in Zamfara. In some very unfortunate cases as happened to in Bayelsa, an unarmed journalist was the victim. When shall Nigeria have successfully de-militarized elections?
Although the result is not out formally, the story is that Senator Dino Melaye is returning to the Nigerian Senate. All the details so far shows he has won. It seems to be the case of all the king’s men and king’s horses could not wreck Dino, the dramatist in the Chamber. How his senior brother, Senator Bukola Saraki wishes that were his fate. On the contrary, Dr Saraki has been reported to have been defeated. If the final results hold, then that is the close of a phase for a politician who has straddled the political scene. It will be interesting to see what next he turns to in the power game. A medical doctor, a former governor and a former president of the Senate and Number 3 citizen of Nigeria can be expected to navigate his ways. Education, age and experience are on his side even as he, like every other politicians, must watch out for intervening variables. It looks like he will still be a player in Nigerian politics for quite sometime.
If the moods were not what it is, even Nigeria would have granted a President Buhari the concession. That is granting his sense of humour that contradict the overarching image of a spartan and even sadistic person. Anyone who could say at such an appropriate moment something like, “I had to peep because you are from Adamawa” certainly retains the capacity for humour. But, in real life, it is one thing to have humour, it is completely a different thing to be portrayed as a humorous person. It packs both the serious and unserious, much, much more than husband and wife affair. This is more so that it is coming in the context of all the ‘Third World War’ going on between the First Lady and the cabal she identifies and fights. So, one minor snippet into closet Buhari which he might not appreciate because the president has probably not watched the WhatsApp graphic where a little girl contrasts him with Atiku and when asked why, she replied: Buhari is wicked. That was a simulated message but also a powerful representation of the president with its own implications. Little things that matter.
When President Buhari was asked at the polling station whether he would congratulate his challenger should he lose the election, he said he would congratulate himself because he would win the election. When Atiku Abubakar was asked the same question, he said he is a democrat and he looked forward to a successful transition.
This is a warning to binarists because all two are saying the same thing. Each is saying he is going to be the winner. While Buhari said it in a point blank manner, Atiku said it in a more posh manner. In all cases, they are acknowledging that, in the struggle for power, the unwritten rule is: defeat doesn’t exist.