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Mourning a stolen dream

01 Mar 2023 . category: Nigeria . Comments
#Nigeria #elections #africa #democracy #endsars

Beware the Ist of March!

Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential polls today and the entire country is mourning. Mourning the death of democracy we never had but which seemed within reach just before the elections. Mourning the glimmer of hope that had been ignited in otherwise docile electorate. Mourning the seeming death of a revolution and national awakening.

You see, this is not new; far from it, this is exactly how the Nigerian elections usually go. What is new is the democratic awakening of Nigerians, especially the youth. For several election cycles, my countrymen have been made to vote and they did so mostly with apathy because they never believed that their votes counted. People mostly voted out of obligation to “fulfil all righteousness”.

For the first time ever, the #EndSARS movement helped awaken a national consciousness and lit a fire of hope. The people, especially the youth, became less apathetic and believed they could effect change. And so they marched to the polls with one goal - to take back their country. They entrusted this goal to the man who became known as the leader of the third force - Mr. Peter Obi. Within a few months of campaign, they achieved what was thought impossible. From the open markets of the East to public transports in the West, his name was in Everyone’s lips. Even the people in the North whispered his name among themselves - #ObiIsComing. To the people, it didn’t just mean that Obi is coming, it meant that the people are coming, that Nigerians are coming!

With this passion and readiness they went to the polls, but then Nigeria happened, nay, dirty politics happened. Elections were rigged, votes stolen, electorates threatened and scared off by thugs and the results doctored. They hadn’t just stolen the votes this time, they had stolen the people’s dream. Their right. Their will.

And so when they ask “what is different this time? It’s not like Nigerian elections were ever free or fair”, I say - elections were never fair, but the people were asleep, now they are awake!


Kenneth Nwafor is a data scientist and software developer with great experience in the tech industry. He loves to write about tech, science and life in general.