BY SONDE ABBAH
Before the 2015 general elections, certain myths and legend reigned supreme. With the poll having come and gone, such myths have been “demystified” before our very eyes, as follows:
- Myth: Money is all in all! True, without money you can hardly do much, let alone run for election. But General Buhari’s peculiar case eloquently testified that with little money and resources but with plenty integrity, popularity and determination, you can defeat even the richest politician or billionaire.
- Myth bribing: Traditional, religions leaders guarantee victory. Ask President Goodluck Jonathan and he would confirm that as influential as religious leaders and traditional rulers may be, in terms of electoral prowess they are not all that reliable- to put it mildly.
- Myth: You can misgovern and still win! Had it been so, many of the PDP governors who contested the last polls would have won. The results of the general elections show that there is no substitute for good governance.
- Myth: Rigging can’t be checkmated! Prior to this year rigging used to reign supreme. But with the introduction of the rigging-proof device called card reader (as well as the permanent voters’ card) it was tough for riggers to have a field day like before.
- Myth: Power of incumbency “unassailable”! This particular myth was reinforced by Buhar’s personal experience in his three previous and failed presidential bids as well as by the experience of opposition leaders Obafemi Aowolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe in the second republic. Just like Awo before him, Buhari did his best to unseat the then president Olusegun Obasonjo and late Umaru Yar’adua- all in vain. The power of incumbency truncated his aspiration to quote Mallam Abdullahi Bulloma, an Abuja- based journalist and columnist” but this time around it turns out that with good preparation and unflinching determination, an incumbent president can indeed be defeated, as Buhari has done in a masterful manner.”
- Myth: Ethnic rejection of candidate: This myth was solidified following the seeming overwhelming rejection of Buhar’s candidacy by the south-west people in the in the 2011 president poll. But in the March 28 poll, Buhari triumphed spectacular in the south-west (like he did in all but two zones of the country- the south-south and south east, that is).
- Myth: PDP’s 60-years reign: planted by the then chairman of PDP, Vincent Ogbulafor. But, alas just as his own tenure as PDP chief never lasted much, Buhari’s spectacular triumph has belied the 60 years-reign myth.
- Myth: PDP had structure across the land (from the remotest village to the national level) which are so formidable that no party can defeat it. Not only has this myth been smashed by Buhari’s success at the national level; the myth was also exposed as a sham at the grassroots level (witness for example, the triumph of the opposition APC in the national assembly poll in many hitherto PDP-dominated states such Niger, Jigawa, Bauchi and Benue).
From the foregoing it is crystal clear that as impressive and intimidating as the aforementioned myths were, they were nothing more than myths. When the right time and right man (as in Buhari) came, the myths crumbled like parks of cards.
This, needless to say, is veritably great for Nigeria and for us as a people. Never again will we be taken for granted by any political party, no its power or membership prowess. If the party fails to live up to the electorate’s wish it will be thrown out, especially with the advent of card readers and PVC in the electoral system so long, myths!”
In other words, the general elections of 2015 have opened our eyes to quite a lot. Just like the June 12, 1993 president poll shattered some myths, the recent elections have smashed even many more myths and legends. A new dawn has emerged in the history of elections in Naija!