And so it had to come to this! Wishes have not become horses, and so the poor may not have a ride. By this morning, it has dawned upon all of us that the political opposition have gone into today’s election disunited, each on their own. If so is the wish of Allah, so be it, and may Allah make us see happiness after this terrible, unfathomable setback. Amin.
But how did it come to this? The answer is exactly as this column had predicted, and warned, twice: first on March 17, 2007 (WHEN A LEADER SEEMS POSSESSED), and second only four weeks ago. On March 19, 2011, this column, in a piece titled AS HOPE BEGINS TO FADE, had warned:
“This is because, and may the Lord protect us, it is quite likely that the opposition in this country is, like the 2007 scenario, under a spell. It is ether that the demon Fasa Taro (‘Scatter the Crowds’) or the devilish group of humans is really scattering the opposition and making them not to unite. For, it is quite likely, that they are going into these elections without any hope of unity and cohesion. And there has never been an opportunity to cause a change in this country than now. So we should all unite to exorcise the demons afflicting the Nigerian opposition.”
Alas! The Demons, whether human or intangible ghosts, seem to have won! For that is our situation today.
We may by now have all heard what transpired in those long and intense negotiations between The Pens and The Brooms. At the end of the day (actually the night), the Brooms had announced they were pulling out at the ‘nth hour after they claimed that The Pens had fallen short of delivering what they agreed to deliver; the de-inking of the The Pen’s Assistant, call him The Pencil.
The Brokers of this deal, two retired Generals, a former Vice President, a distinguished Elder Statesman, and a host of others no less, were said to have been very broken-hearted and dejected as they left the venue of the talks, after committing so many long hours and days to see things through. The Pencil, Assistant to The Pen, had apparently done them in. But, to them, The Pen it was that had done everyone in.
In a last-ditch effort, The Broom-Bearer was said to have rushed to the other major contender, The Maize-Bearer who, all along, had been ready to negotiate but had not been invited to the negotiations, and both of them had rushed to The Pen-Bearer, willing and ready to sacrifice everything for unity. They were said to have had fruitful discussions but, when The Pencil’s Letter came short and The Brokers broke up, this second attempt also fell apart. They (The Broom-Bearer and The Maize-Bearer) had even earlier asked The Brokers (who, ironically, are all Umbrellas) to do as they had done much earlier: Consensus. Alas!
So, again, after this latest attempt collapsed, to save the situation and ensure that the light would continue to be kindled, another entity, this time The Maize Group, jumped into the vacuum vacated by The Brooms. Discussions began between people of The Maize and people of The Pen for a whole day and night. By the time it was the crucial hour, it was understood by all that the discussion had hit the rocks, and the Devil. And had fallen into the deep blue sea as well.
Now, if there is any explanation other than the one proffered by this column twice, in pieces four years apart, that there must be a Third Force in play, we would all need to be more educated. To wit, we have said four weeks ago that:
“When people say this country is beyond redemption, a discerning corner of many a mind tends to agree with them. This is because, from all indications, the Nigerian opposition have not got their acts together despite the tremendous opportunity offered by a 73-million strong electorate indicating that the time for change has come. The time has indeed come, and the opportunity has come on a platter of ballot. Not seizing this opportunity may indicate that we, Nigerians, are indeed lost.”
After today’s events, the nation shall come to vigorous discussion: what went wrong and what went right? It will also discuss the whys and the hows and the what-would-have-beens. There shall be hands clapping, or there shall be a wringing of hands. But whatever is the outcome after today, that One Being we all worship, Allah, God, has heard us all; He has heard our cry, and He will not forsake us. Let us all pray then, Muslims and Christians alike, to Him to deliver us and to deliver this country. Amin. Amen.
And finally, to land softly after this sad lament, let us end on something lively. The following story is trending in most of Nigeria’s internet discussion groups this week. If you haven’t yet read it, here it is:
It is said that, after last week’s National Assembly elections where a certain north western state ruled by the Umbrellas was completely over-run, deleted, annihilated and erased by The Pens, the Umbrella-Bearer-in-Chief (call him Umbrella) phoned the Junior Umbrella-Bearer (call him Brolly) who happens to be Governor of that particular state, and the ensuing conversation was said to have taken place:
Umbrella: “Kai Brolly! Let me tell you straight away, one is not happy at all! One is not amused! And one wants answers! Whatever happened in that your state, after all the promises you and the senior Umbrella-Stakeholders made that you would deliver your state to me?”
Brolly: “Wallahi Your Excellency it was a Tsunami that hit!”
Umbrella: “Kai Brolly! What Tsunami? Why wasn’t there any similar Tsunami in the neighbouring states, where in fact the Umbrella was held aloft?”
Brolly: “Don’t worry Sir! During the Presidential Elections next Saturday the Tsunami will hit everywhere!”
Umbrella: “(Long silence…)”
And so, again, to Eagle Square!