Too predictable to be true, By Odi Ikpeazu

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Predictably, most of the losers in the last Presidential election are petulantly questioning its credibility. I would have been alarmed if it were otherwise. Unsurprisingly, most of them do not have sufficient moral capital to make the down payment for a roasted corn. Being a football person, I know that as far as fans are concerned, no football team ever loses a match if not that the referee was compromised or that VAR was manipulated to favour the victor.

Long before the voting exercise, I was convinced of the eventual outcome but not because I am a prophet or partisan, both of which I am surely not. I did my calculations based on the sectional demographics as well as the ecclesiastic dynamics of Nigeria’s peculiar sociopolitics. Of course I also took into consideration the emotional and sentimental motivations of vast swathes of people and additionally, to the huge numbers who were mistaking hallucination for revolution.

It was quite an interesting, many times amusing, sometimes annoying, few months of political hustings. One of the front runners was accused of being afflicted with terminal Alzheimer’s Disease while the rabid followers of another infected him with a Messiah Complex that had no basis in antecedence.

Tribal and religious animosities intertwined and masqueraded as idealism but in such an amateurish manner that only the most pedestrian of willing fools would be fooled. Having regard to all these, in addition to a litany of miscellany, I felt certain as to how the result would turn out and was not in the least surprised that I was right in the end.

Unfortunately, my countrymen are still perambulating and rotating on the same old sectional and sectarian axis, only updated and magnified this time by the new-fangled social media, whereby prejudices are spread faster and more thoroughly. Dangerously, unlike before, these biases are now rampant among the youth, who lacking proper civic grounding but influenced by Western so-called liberalism, fancy themselves as the vanguard of change. In a way, it is quite alarming because given the kind of music that turns them on, the poor old country is headed for the off beats and odd rhythms of the tone deaf!!!

I will not be surprised in the least should violence erupt among these youths at the behest of some of these politicians, who are keener on their personal ambition than the national destination. They will find ready tools among the youthful mob, many of whom have been ironically rendered illiterate by attending polytechnics and universities, where they have been raised on truancy, strikes, cults and mercantile lecturers.

Steadily, the attention of the population has shifted from concerns of general development to personality cults of followership, which perfectly plays into the hands of the politicians concerned. The latter now have the luxury of talking loud and saying nothing, spewing slogans and having no manifestos, secure in the knowledge that they have an uncritical constituency of fanatical groupies willing to lift the most mundane of them to Olympian heights.

I observed that some excellent legislators lost their seats in spite of unprecedented service to their people, during which they went beyond the call of duty to provide infrastructure that successive Executive Governors have woefully failed to do. This was as a result of the herd mentality of some of the electorate mob, which validates the Dunning-Kruger theory that individuals with the lowest intelligence in a domain are the ones that show the strongest tendency to overestimate their own intelligence.

As a result of the foregoing, my mind is disturbed, not by the leadership, but the dwindling quality of the civic populace, which can only create the perfect habitat for the emergence of the most mundane of leaders now and in the future.

-Ikpeazu, a lawyer is a Public Affairs Analyst

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