Writing on the Wall of Anambra 2021, By Martins Oloja
I hope that our dealers who have been parading themselves as leaders are keeping well enough to read the great writings that just appeared on the wall of Anambra-2021. I also hope that they heard the remarkable people of Anambra state loud and clear when they sounded their trumpet of hope to a hopeless nation last week. I only hope too that their powerless oracles haven’t dismissed the very clear warning signals from APGA organic Anambrarians call ‘our own’. I can only hope that our dealers, sorry leaders absorb the power of the inconvenient revelation that the Anambra-2021 represents at the moment.
I hope the powerful people in the nation’s capital can muddle through the present darkness with the aid of their handset’s torchlight to read the writings on the wall of Anambra that Nigeria’s broken walls can be rebuilt, after all through the people power.
One can only hope too that the men without chests in the two major political parties, the APC and the PDP who have been building war chests to exploit our dangerous civil incompetence again in #Project2023 have got the message from Awka that Super Tuesday that they are meretriciously prominent but not significant, after all.
I hope the artful ‘carpet crossers’ from darkness to darkness saw the fire from heaven that finally burnt their shenanigan and peccadillo in Anambra that Wednesday when the result was announced. How are the mighty fallen! We can tell it in Awka and publish the clear message in the Streets of Ebenebe so that Oriental daughters can rejoice – that the wickedness of the wicked in Nigeria can come to an end, after all.
I do hope that our flabby and jaded politicians who have helped in destroying all our institutions that should support democracy can read another message on ‘The Great Wall’ in Anambra that when the people are sufficiently tired and angry about the recklessness of their oppressors they can arouse the conscience of the nation to stand together as one –to fight injustice to all.
Hopefully, our duty bearers can deepen their understanding of another writing on the Oriental wall that if institutions including elections management agency and even police are well funded and left alone to function, they can stand up too to be counted.
As a citizen, in the early hours of that Wednesday when Professor Charles Soludo was declared winner of the keenly contested election, my spirit man recalled Jimmy Cliff’s 1970 classic: ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’.
‘You can get it if you really want; You can get it if you really want; You can get it if you really want; But you must try, try and try;
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last; Look here; Persecution you must bear; Win or lose you’ve got to get your share; Got your mind set on a dream; You can get it, though harder they seem now; You can get it if you really want; You can get it if you really want; You can get it if you really want; But you must try, try and try…
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last I know it, listen; Rome was not built in a day; Opposition will come your way; But the hotter the battle you see; It’s the sweeter the victory, now;…I know it; Don’t I show it? You don’t give up now…
In the same vein, there is a sense in which we can warn the victors in Anambra not to ignore an ancient writing on another wall that, ‘Goliath Hath Children’ another warning signal to the rejoicing daughters of Anambra that they should add this hymn to their song-list: ‘Christians, seek not yet repose, Hear thy gracious Saviour say; Thou art in the midst of foes; Watch and pray; Principalities and powers, Mustering their unseen array, Wait for thy unguarded hours; Watch and pray….’
Surely, the vanquished in the epic battle are not going to give up so easily. They have been curiously collecting mandates from the courts. This is Nigeria where elected officers cannot sleep well until the final arbiter (court) has pronounced them duly elected. This is the new deal on electoral justice system that has remarkably devalued the majesty of democracy in Africa’s most populous country.
Meanwhile, there are so many other deliverables from the Anambra 2021 election. It is more than emergence of a very experienced technocrat and professor, Charles Soludo. Election isn’t an event. It is a process. The outcome of the election has had some unintended consequences. The first takeaway is that with the way the election management agency has collaborated with the civil society organisations including the media to sensitise a section of the political class to the legalisation of electronic transmission of result and strategic approval of direct primary that will return power of co-ownership to the people (members of the political party, there is “hope of a better tomorrow”, which Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a significant African writer says, ‘is the only comfort you can give to a weeping child’.
It signposts a lot of possibilities, notably that it is possible to elect good, trusted and knowledgeable leaders, after all. Despite all the glitches that delayed so many processes in Anambra, the good people came out, voted for the governors they wanted and their votes counted. Only one bad loser the people and leaders across parties actually worked and voted against is complaining and threatening recourse to curious ‘judicial election’. That belongs in the past. I see hope of a better Nigeria where the judiciary will be restored to its organic essence as the last hope of the common man. That hope can’t be deferred anymore.
The political leaders who worked hard with unscrupulous ministers in the temple of justice, notably lawyers to desecrate the temple will receive the wrath of the God we serve. He can’t be deceived. He has revealed to mankind though His word that, “whatever a man sows, he shall reap….” I know Him. Note this ancient word: ‘Righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne’. He won’t allow those who have corrupted the justice system in Nigeria to assume office in a new Nigeria that will sooner than later be a pride of the black race. His Son has also revealed to mankind that only good trees can produce good fruits (bad trees produce bad fruits). Interpretation of this writing on His wall: We need to be wary of children of Goliath who are the bad trees of Nigeria. They should not be allowed to cross over to 2023 where they want to continue to produce bad fruits. This is a time for even the cocky elite whose complacency has been responsible for election of nincompoops and scoundrels who are gearing up again to cross over to 2023 to continue business as usual. Our elite and even young people who executed the #EndSARS revolution strategy should no longer beat a retreat at this time because of demonisation by our dishonest state actors who can’t face the power of truth.
They should regroup like the youth of Zambia who the other day mobilised their nation to defeat reactionary forces. The Young in Zambia heeded the voice of Steve Biko who once advised the back people of the world, not to refer their physical problems to God anymore. Biko counseled:
‘…I would like to remind the black ministry, and indeed all black people that God is not in the habit of coming down from heaven to solve people’s problems on earth’.
The good people of Anambra took the wise counsel of Biko and used the dominion and will power the same God has given to all us to defeat the forced of darkness. The few of them at home who were inspired by APGA stalwarts earlier obtained their voter cards. They didn’t depend on God to do that for them. They preserved their cards. They waited patiently when there were technical hitches. They even waited till the night. They didn’t get angry with INEC. Some provided ‘Personal Hotspot’ of their ‘Wi-Fi’. They stood firm to deepen democracy in the state. They went out. They saw. They persevered. And they conquered satanic forces! As I was saying concerning the resurgent youth in Zambia, the youth in Nigeria should work with reliable local leaders to defeat the forces of darkness who are already strategising to be leaders at all levels in 2023. They are already discussing and padding the 2022 budget details with dubious projects they want to use for #Project2021. They are even borrowing to finance 2023. Have you seen the haste with which the Senate approves borrowing spree? Shakespeare knows them. He tells us: ‘…There is but one mind in all these men, all bent against their country…. Let’s study the APGA spirit and the Anambrarian strategy papers – just to prevent these wicked aspirants from sowing tares in our democratic vineyards. The way to tell them that we know they are wicked is through strategic planning and execution – the discipline of getting things done. It begins with registration as voters. It begins with organising Movements to change these bad people.
‘The Register’s editorial in 2018 can be quite instructive:
‘Politicians can ignore bumper stickers, yard signs, phone calls and marches on capitals. They can dismiss public opinion polls, editorials and griping constituents. The one thing they cannot ignore: the majority of voters on Election Day….’
We the people decide whether a candidate has a job in public office come May, 2023. We help decide the fate of our country, state and even our own families — by casting a ballot for candidates best aligned with our own values.
The old and the young and even the elite should build some consensus around this: that democracy can’t function if citizens don’t vote. Without the people, power defaults to special interests and their money. The question now is whether you will use your power by voting in 2023. Reason: the outcome of elections matters very much. Yes, as it has been widely noted that elections have consequences. The consequences of our choices in 2015 are still bruising.
Ask teachers in underfunded Nigerian schools if elections matter. Ask low-income and jobless Nigerians if they know elections matter. Ask human services workers, veterans, tourists stunned by our impassable roads and waterways and Nigerians and even our people in IDP camps who don’t have access at all to health services.
There is no question, the individuals who hold elected office affect every part of our lives. We have seen what even federal and state legislators can do to national (under)development. They determine the future of everything through legislation and oversight. Where are we on these fronts?
Now is the time for each of us to speak up against the wickedness of the wicked in Nigeria. And it’s easy to participate in elections now that INEC is gaining credibility. What we need is to conquer our fears. ‘The wickedness of the wicked will not come to an end just because God said it. We need to step out and find some rods to put in our hands. God can only bless the rods in our hands. And the rods now include our voter cards and determination to say no to gifts politicians dispense to make ways for them at the polling stations. We should be determined to say no as the Ebenebe woman who rejected a candidate’s N5000 bribe.
Martins Oloja is a Columnist with the Guardian Newspapers