Losing honourably and accepting defeat in Nigerian political elections



Firstly for the records I didn’t vote in any of the 2007 general elections because I was stuck in Abuja and couldn’t get my self to Benue State where I was registered as a voter. But if I had voted it would have been along this line: the ADC’s Pat Utomi for President, The AC’s Adams Oshiomole and Babatunde Fashola for Governor (if I was registered in Edo or Lagos State respectively) and the PDP’s candidates for Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Chairman and Vice Chair. The elections were relatively peaceful, free and fair in my area and I monitored events on foot, by word of mouth, on phone and in the print, radio, television and online media.

And from my research I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of Nigerians don’t just know how to loose honourably and accept election defeat. So polls started late in some areas and there were misconducts in “a few” centers, and so what? The invasion of the pitch and the stretching off of a defender of a team who are already six nil down with five minutes to go doesn’t mean a match should be replayed. You would still have lost in any case.

And unfortunately Obasanjo’s fuck ups and the INEC’s Leadership blunders contribute in giving losers something to shout about. And because bad news is always the juiciest the media pounce on that, generalise and blow the whole thing out of proportions (for every original “my voting experience” well written and descriptive blog post there are ten one-paragraph unoriginal “electoral misconduct” blog post in the Nigerian blogosphere). Political losers now build on that, forget about being magnanimous in defeat and the next thing you know they’re holding press conferences accusing their opponents of rigging the elections.

It’s not strange that it’s only the defeated that complain. Even the PDP who have been the most accused turned around to whine in Lagos and Abia States where they lost the gubernatorials. It should tell you something, that rigging (where it truly manifests) is not a PDP only affair and that most people are just bad losers. To them there is no life outside politics and so it’s a deadly fight to the finish.

Let me let you in on something. With a large percentage of people with poor living standards Nigeria is still a place where people will vote for you in appreciation of the gifts you give them and with tribal sentiments. Research show that it’s the poor and ill informed that constitute a majority of the voting populace and since money plays a part in politics the rich political parties reach them, “campaign” and are able to win their votes.

The intellectuals, the media and those who should know better are in the minority. They support the better candidates but are often too occupied with work or pleasures, or feel too big to come out to vote. Their candidates forgetting that money is power and that politics is like advertising (if you don’t advertise you don’t sell) score miserably low in voter education and thus perform miserably at polls.

Adams Oshiomole, Pat Utomi and Jimi Agbaje

I’m sorry Mr Oshiomole; it’s possibly that more people truly voted for Osunbor. You’re a smart chap and I’m sure you’ll keep your self busy and strategise ahead of 2011. The same goes for Jimi Agbaje and possibly Pat Utomi. These unfortunately were the right candidates but with the wrong political machinery.

Fatherhood (gone wrong/with Ibe)



The title of this entry seems familiar? Well In “fatherhood with Ibe” was (or is, I’m not sure) the name of one of the several columns in Hints; a Nigerian romance magazine which was at its’ peak in the later half of the 1990s. With Exschoolnerd affectionately calling me Papa Ikenna and Yosh shopping for names for his yet unborn daughters I was finally sufficiently inspired to throw out these “notes from the hyena’s belly” (thoughts which have been on my mind for some time. Props to the Naija blogger with a same named blog) on fatherhood gone wrong.

Here’s the first example of fatherhood gone wrong. An old timer who doesn’t carry his kids…sons along in his business moves and is stingy and withdrawn from his own family. He doesn’t womanise or drink neither is he the overly religious type. It’s hard to figure him out except that he’s seriously mistrustful as a result of going through a tough childhood and rise to the top. It’s really a shame that the first time I was able to step foot in his house was upon his death on a consolation visit to the family. Now the grown sons are facing the uphill task of trying to get familiar with their hitherto unknown relatives so as to give pops man a befitting burial as well as trying to put a hand on and coordinate his numerous businesses so as to ensure family survival. That’s the picture from the angle I got to know about him.

The second case of fatherhood gone wrong is the Baba who runs his home like a dictator. He stresses out his kids and embarrasses them in the presence of their friends. The gospel according to Baba is that he can do no wrong. When there’s trouble you’re to blame he can’t possibly ever be at fault. With a bad temper to match Baba shouts down Mama, Mama in defence shouts down the kids and the kids learn fast by shouting down their own unfortunate victims. Baba unsurprisingly can’t deal with difficult situations calmly, he must always resort to abuse, scolding and raised voices. As a result Mama and the kids are now conditioned to think that’s the rightful first step to take in contentious circumstances. The end result is a blood hound family blind to the fact that life can be lived according to the cardinal principals of peace, love and respect despite the challenges along the way.

My closing piece: “Fathers effing up should start to do the right thing”. Whatever man...vote Pat Utomi for president and send me a birthday cheque on April 17th. Peace!

Bill Cosby and fam, fatherhood gone...right!