By Efio-Ita Nyok| 24 March 2015| 5:48 am
Prophets are such people who have the rear ability to call to walk into the yet-to-be-manifested future in the present. They can as well project into the already-manifested-past in the present. My conception of 'prophet' here is all encompassing, and not restricted to religion.
Human society, Nigeria inclusive, could be said to have three basic dimensions, and they are: culture, politics and economy; Such that writers are wont to always use the phrase -'socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and sociocultural.' I call them the three dimensions (3D) of society.
When prophets prophecy, they do so in respect of these 3D of society. And when Abraham Lincoln, America's 16th president foremost statesman did that, he did it in view of Nigeria's sociopolitical stratum. When, where and what did he really say concerning Nigeria?
In 19 November 1863 in Gettysburg precisely, during the dedication of a plot of land as a cemetery for burying America's fallen heroes, this is what this globocentric sociopolitical prophet had to say:
'…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth'.
For Lincoln, government was all about the people. The masses determine the legitimacy of any government. The masses are the yardstick of any government. He was right!
Nigeria has gone through four republics: First Republic (1963-67), Second Republic (1979-83), Third Republic (1993), and Fourth Republic (1999- present). The present republic is my preoccupation. The fourth republic is about sixteen years young. We have had three presidents, namely, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Musa Yar' Adua, and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. We have also had four general elections in 1999, 2004, 2007, 2011; and are about to have the fifth in 2015 come 28 March & 11 April 2015. In the former, the freedom, fairness and credibility of the general elections have come under profound doubt so much so that late President Yar' Adua was compelled to admit that the election that brought him to power was blatantly rigged! The government was not of, for and by the Nigerian people. In other words, Lincoln's prophecy failed in these.
However, Lincoln's prophecy seem to be fulfilling itself in the 2015 general elections. Never in the sociopolitical history of Nigeria has the ruling political party been so routed by the opposition as this year's election. This is owing to the fact that the government is to be determined by the people. Professor Attahiru Jega should be commended for introducing the Card Reader and Private Voting Cards(PVCs) in this years election. The chances of rigging and rigging with impunity are very slim.
In previous years, because electoral malpractices were the order of the day, campaigns were not so much as intense. Then thuggery was the in thing. But today, the votes of the ordinary man/woman in the street would count at least for the first time.
The Nigerian people are about to determine the government. Politicians are going hysterical in their politicking. Propaganda and counter propaganda rents the air. Legal tenders of varied denominations exchange hands. Many other shady dealings have so characterised this year's election. Be that as it may, I wish to charge the Nigerian electorates to be poised to determine the government. They should not be intimidated neither should they be hoodwinked into taking an erroneous decision. They should remember that with the PVCs in their hands, they have the more power. The politician canvassing for his or her votes does in view of the fact you are the sole determinant of his or her fate. The Nigerian electorate should understand that they are the boss: Jonathan, Buhari, Tinubu, Amaechi, Akpabio, Obasanjo, IBB, etc, they don't pull the shot again at least until after the elections.
I reiterate that, 'that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish' from Nigeria!