A Nigerian Easter

The last time I attended confession, I was mighty troubled. It’s a miracle that in the midst of all my iniquities, my conscience somehow finds a way to remain alive. So, I was in turmoil over my own deeds and misdeeds, all of which I relayed to the priest through the dusty net at the confessional. I really put it out there…reeling out tapes and tapes of the times I fell, and how hard I tried to get back up, and every time it felt achievable, how I went crashing back down again. I ended by confessing that I had tired of trying; I saw no point in it if every time, I ended up hurting my Creator and disappointing myself.

When I finished, the good ol’ toughie – Monsignors are always the toughest – kept mute for a dozen precious seconds. I wondered if maybe he hadn’t heard me, or maybe my litany of iniquities had lulled him to sleep, or worse, maybe he had never seen that much filth all up in one man.

So there I was, on my knees, brow sweaty in the cold morning air, thinking of how best to escape quietly. Then he coughed. I heard his robes ruffle as he shrugged.

Then he said, “son, try again”.

This time last year, I wrote a six-part series following Christ from his condemnation, to death on the cross, and triumphant resurrection, and I called it ‘The Medallion’ (look HERE for a re-read or a first read).

I have never claimed to be the best Christian – unless in circles where I am the ONLY Christian 🙂 – but I am pretty certain of the fact that Good Friday is not a story of a second chance. Jesus, by bowing to shameful death on a cross, did not give me a second chance at doing good. No, His death gave me the grace of many chances; because of Christ, I shall never suffer the dearth of opportunities to get it right, no matter how many times I err, for as long as I live.

That is the joy of Good Friday, and the glory of Easter.

And THAT is the bane of the victory of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of APC in the recently concluded presidential elections. Some of the sweetest ones among you readers have asked why WAW was uncharacteristically mute in the middle of all the brouhaha before, during and after the elections. The answers to this will come in a future post, hopefully, but suffice it to say that a major reason was the painful manner in which I was disenfranchised. I still owe Oross that story.

Anyway, I stayed home, laughed my insides raw on social media memes, and drew up Excel tables and charts with voter results. For those who are still unclear about whose side I was on: I did this

mocking laughter

when Kano and Katsina happened; then I did this

high five

…when Buhari scored above 25% in Edo and in any other ‘unlikely’ state.

And when it became clear we had a new president even though Borno was yet to come, I did this…

dance African kid

So…

  • WHY APC, AND NOT PDP?

Tuesday’s victory was more for Nigeria, than any individual or political party. For the first time since we first saw democracy, we proved to the world that we count. More importantly, we proved to ourselves, the political parties and the men in power that we are still capable of democratic unity in the face of adversity, and that in our strongest elements, we are never to be taken for granted again.

I recently followed this sister on twitter, @KingUcheOdoh, and she pretty much summed it up as follows:

“Just so we are clear we didn’t say Buhari is our savior! We just voted out a government we were not satisfied with to give another a chance!”

Dazall!

  • WHY BUHARI, AND NOT JONATHAN?

I cannot tell you that I ‘voted’ the party and not the man – it would be a lie. If anybody says that to you, kindly ask them “if Atiku had won the ticket instead, would you have voted APC still?”

I am Igbo, a proud son of the Nnewi soil and so it came as quite the surprise to a number of Igbo brothers and even non-Igbo friends when I spoke of my support for the Fulani GMB over the Niger-Deltan Ebele.

Simply, I was dissatisfied with the leadership of President Jonathan. Beyond that, as the campaigns progressed, President Goodluck increasingly looked to me like a man who has had his fill of the Villa. The more I watched the news, watched video clips and viewed pictures, I had this nagging feeling that the campaign for reelection was being run more by the people behind the curtains, than by the man who wore the crown himself. Needless to say, the fate of a country in as precarious a situation as ours should not be combined with an unwilling or indecisive leader.

Buhari on the other hand is a man whose integrity and sense of discipline I judge to be well above most other Nigerian politicians’. Even the opposition with all their technological and pecuniary clout was unable to find any mud to sling at it. All I heard was talk about the General’s tribalistic tendencies and religious extremism. My views on tribalism and religion, especially in the context of government, are not secret. Suffice it to say that I’d rather not lend the matter any credence seeing as it deserves none. For my thoughts in detail, read “A Debt That Must Be Paid” and “The Nigerian State and Religion I and II

Many of the ‘Change’-opposers are genuinely afraid; while I do not dismiss the fears as baseless, I believe that as enlightened a country as we are, as diverse as we are and in a democratic dispensation, it will be difficult for one man or one religion to hold us to ransom.

I do not expect miracles from General Muhammadu Buhari; all I expect is that he acknowledges the sacrifice and immense trust of Nigerians, in actions, in Aso Rock. By merely assuming an uncompromising stance of incorruptibility, equity, fairness and justice, the General would have done most of the job required of the office he will resume at in May.

  • WHY 2015, AND NOT 2019?

Yes, I heard this argument as well. President Jonathan deserved a second four-year tenure, they said, so he could either prove or disprove our distrust. My answers?

Because as the president himself said while contesting in 2011, anything that cannot be done by a government in four years cannot be done by that same government, even in ten years.

Because I’d rather run a preventive marathon, than a corrective one.

Because maybe it’s too late already, and we may not even know it.

Because like Christians have at Easter, we have the grace of many other chances, not just one chance. If the new government fails, we will vote them out come 2019.

And because for the next four years, I’d rather have as my First Lady, this woman

Buhari wife

than this woman

11082544_10155371763255514_8708964379917998631_n

In the form of a new government and a ‘new’ country, this Easter is a gift to Nigeria…a Nigerian Easter.

Happy Good Friday, lovers…and a Merry Easter ahead!

Chisom

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18 thoughts on “A Nigerian Easter

  1. ‘it came as quite the surprise to a number of Igbo brothers and even non-Igbo friends when I spoke of my support for the Fulani GMB over the Niger-Deltan Ebele.
    Simply, I was dissatisfied with the leadership of President Jonathan.’

    SIMPU AN’ SHOT!

    This piece echoes my sentiments with regard to this entire election debacle.

  2. All I can say is that I was a strong supporter of GEJ. But like you rightly said, I felt strongly that GEJ didn’t want the seat anymore. I was confused at one point

    • It was just a feeling at first, but as I watched events unfold, I was convinced more and more. We have no time for disappointments, dear…the man himself set a good precedent by owning up to his loss. We will now move forward, together. Daalu for reading.

  3. where I agree the most with you is about Jonathan being tired of the villa. I didn’t know someone else noticed that. His supporters seemed to want the villa more than he did. His countenance, even the early concession call….he was tired of the craze. The man had done his best and he seemed to have realised he just didn’t know what else to do or what he could have done differently. I think he just wanted a peaceful life once more. He was quite heroic. Plus Buhari in his magnanimity sorta guaranteed his ‘immunity’….lol.

    • Lol @ Buhari’s magnanimity. See how more and more of us are echoing these same thoughts, and there I was thinking I was being uncharitable to the president. The other parts nko? You disagree?

  4. My brother Chisom, your write-up was revealed to you in a dream where I saw myself telling you what to write…lol. For those that are yet to rise up from ethnic and religious sentiments in evaluating the suitability of a potential leader, I hope they do some day because, thus far, it has consistently taken us backwards as a nation.

  5. I disagree with most of what you wrote you sha. Is it just me or is this post too long? 1st you were talking Easter then you branched off to PDP/APC. Were you trying to make up for lost time? This should have been two separate articles

    • Hahaha…a friend on Facebook put it thus: “you (me, that is) easterly drew us (you and other readers) into your politics” LOL.
      Perhaps this should have been two articles, but I planned it as one. I was going to draw you in with the Easter message of other chances and then in what I hoped would be a master twist, connect it to a political message I’ve been yearning to pass. I guess I didn’t quite pull it off, but it’s all part of the learning process. I’ll get better…I promise 🙂

  6. Martin, before I speak, you already know my take. Even though you seem right about Jonathan being tired of the Nigerian Villa (who wouldn’t be?), and I surely detest his wife’s attitude. I wished so much we would realize what we southerners sold off in the guise of knowing too much. In all I kinda silently wish buhari would win so he doesn’t die a legend/ myth. Now he’s got the chance to prove himself*lol* But one day when you all wake n realize that he can’t be unseated, n he ain’t the solution Nigerian situation. Remember that I Ejezie Nnebuogo Jane said it. That we over knowing southerners sold our birthright once again! Smh!

    • Nnebuogo, yes, I know your take.lol. But the basic principles of equity, fairness and justice I know tell me that you’re wrong. I am human, and so is Buhari. I do not exonerate him from possible nepotism and tyranny in the future, but I have made my decisions based on my assessment of his person so far, and most importantly, on the dearth of other realistic options for the realization of the Nigeria you and I wish for.
      Nne, right now ehn, one working Nigeria will benefit us both better than any Southern birthright. For the sake of our children, we better pray Buhari does indeed prove himself.

  7. Before I knew Nigeria, I knew I was Igbo. So yes I have ethnic sentiments. But that wasn’t my issue with GMB. My issue is that he is that this dude is military. Can a round peg fit in a square hole? People said gej was failed. Gentlemen and ladies when you run for a post and your opponents say they would make it ungovernable and they indeed make it so how can you possibly work well. And Chisom you said democracy, the election itself wasn’t even fair. And APC-PDP, puhleeze, the members of APC are just old PDP members. What new thing do they have to offer us? Let’s just say we were stuck between the devil and the sea. Some chose to swim and others dance with the devil.
    And yes, people in power might sit up because they know they are being watched. Fine o.
    And yes, as an aside, Buhari still has the case in court. People might say leave it na let peace reign. But I was listening to reggae today and the guy said we want justice not peace. If you aver to something you should prove it.

    • I ‘hear’ what you’re saying, Ezinma…I hear your fears, worries, and sentiments. And I am glad because I know that they stem from a deep patriotic love for country. Fact is, he is the president-elect right now, and we all better be willing to help him make this work. While the current president has a score-card with lots of ‘fails’ on it, General Buhari’s in a democratic dispensation is blank and unfilled yet. The court is in his ball, Mama Peace might say, but it is in our ball too.
      If he fails, we vote him out come 2019, or better still, impeach him way before then. I dare to believe that our political enlightenment has room for that.

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