It is good to wake up to the reality that the election has come and gone, and this will see sanity gradually returning to the society, and the media space will become saner and more conducive for discussion of issues. Though the election has come and gone, the ripples and matters arising from the election will still be on the front burner for some times to come.
Now that the election is over, the great challenge facing Nigerians is that of reconciliation of fellow citizens over insults and hatred that took over the country prior to the elections. It was a period of heightened tension and recklessness as citizens threw caution and respect to the wind while advancing their different political interests. The consequence is that lots of people lost friendship that was built over time, lots of people lost business contacts, lots of people fell out of favour with their mentors and people that would have probably assisted them; while some people did permanently shut the door behind them in such a rude manner that they would not dare go back to access the door again.
I remember being in a discussion with a friend, who lamented the degree of harm and distrust the last general elections sowed among Nigerians. He narrated how his friend of many years, became a staunch supporter of one of the main political parties and all of a sudden became inaccessible to him because they did not share the same political opinion.
Regrettably, some Nigerians lost the opportunity of meeting their destiny helpers because of blind support for political parties and candidates. The social media became a platform to pour vituperations and verbal attacks on people ordinarily some would fall over heels to even have a handshake with. Nigerians put to maximum use their new found freedom of speech. It was so bad at the peak of election campaign that accessing social media was scary because of the things that one would read, see or hear.
Now that the election is over and the hen has come home to roost, it is time to make amends. Nigerians must resolve to allow the pains and experiences of the last election to be by-gone. There is nothing anyone can do about it. We must pick up our pieces and move on, for where there is a will, there is always a way. One lesson Nigerians must learn is that election is a contest between two or more persons. And like in every other contest, one out of the several contestants must emerge winner; there is no way all the contestants should win. Nigerians will invest less emotion in politics when they realize this fact.
Now is the time to reconcile and reconstruct old relationships that were dented and sacrificed on the altar of uncontrolled emotion and uncreative thinking, on the altar of irredentism and shallow mindedness; on the altar of pettiness and irrationality; and on the altar of selfishness and parochialism.
How do you start to mend such fences, how do you start reconciling with a superior or mentor whom you had blazingly insulted on the ground of political differences, how do you reconstruct and mend a relationship that you deliberately broke the foundation just to satisfy a politician, how do you begin to retract your insults and baseless die hard position on issues of discourse, how do you start to clear the mess you put on your way in the course of advancing your political position?
It is only stupidity and irrationality that could make one lose his meal ticket and jeopardize his future for politicians, who may not even know that you exist. There is nothing as bad as closing a door you would need to access later or blowing up a bridge that you will need to cross those difficult terrains later. Wise people discuss politics with caution and do not allow it to spoil things for them. We should rise up to the realization that there is nothing better and stronger than building and maintaining a relationship. Even if every other thing fails you, a good relationship will come in handy when you are down and out. Learn to build genuine relationship more than political affiliations.
Sadly the politicians are wiser than the rest of us. They know how to protect their interest first and above every other thing. They are enemies today and friends tomorrow, feathering their nests. The politicians in the opposition party will tomorrow become members of the same ruling party, and they are welcomed with pomp and peasantry. A seasoned politician does not lose out no matter the party in power. A politician is always a politician, and will not jeopardize his interest for you no matter how supportive you are.
If you must discuss politics, do so with caution and liberal mind, not mortgaging your conscience and future, and destroying a relationship that had served you in good and bad times. There is always life after political campaigns and elections. Do not indulge in self-inflicted injuries, just to satisfy the desires of the moment.
Now that the election is over, all Nigerians must come together and see the need to improve the electoral processes and deepen our democracy. We must team up with the winners and contribute in whatever way we could to make governance meaningful and positive. The losers should take their losses in good faith knowing that 2023 is just by the corner for another election. We must start working for the success of the next election now and not wait till 2023.
– Heanachowrote from Lagos
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