By Tonnie Iredia
Before the July 14,2012 Governorship election in Edo State, three different ‘seers’ reportedly saw many sides of the same vision. The first said the incumbent would not win; the second said it is the opposition that would win, while the third said the sitting Governor would win but would not be sworn in. Now that the Governor has been reelected, the so-called seers may have to change their lenses.
Of course, since the election did not belong to the group organized in the country during the transition from military to civilian rule; no one can annul it as was done to that of the legendary MKO Abiola. So, vision or no vision, the Edo State Governor, subject only to a court order, is as good as having begun a second term in office. He is no longer the same as his Ondo State counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who has to await a possible reelection in October, 2012.
It appears, however, that there is some hope for Mimiko; because Prophet T. B. Joshua who had been credited with a vision that the Governor may not win, has already refuted the claim. According to media reports, Joshua says he is not part of any such diabolical vision.
Fair enough, Mimiko’s supporters may no longer have to worry much about that but like the rest of us; they still have other prophecies to worry about. One of them is a phone text message which circulated nationwide last week allegedly from the “Redemption Camp”. No one was to be adorned in red in whatever form last Friday, that is, two days ago-no red cloth, shoe, shirt, trouser, paint, glasses, head warmer, boxer or cap. The purpose was for each person to avoid death through blood spilling.
There is doubt, if everyone who got the message believed it. Many may not have done so. However, great ‘believers’ must have faithfully obeyed the injunction, thereby redeeming the rest of us. Blessed are the believers for they shall hear more! Oh, yes, there are always prophecies. I heard of one not long ago, of a prophet who revealed to a pregnant lady that the baby in her womb would either be male or female!! It sounded quite ingenious to me that I decided to enroll immediately into the Guild of Seers.
My first vision which came that same day was that Boko Haram and Government would unite before the end of 2012; meaning that quite soon, Nigeria will become peaceful and prosperous. I would certainly be upset if anyone doubts the veracity of my vision because I have the freedom to see what I want to see. In addition, it could also mean that people doubt my positive prophecy because they believe only negative dreams-another word for prophecies and visions.
As a patriot and optimist,
I hereby call on Nigerians to have faith in my vision and to pray for it to be fulfilled. Who says a positive dream cannot materialize? I firmly believe it would, especially in the case of my beloved nation’s insecurity. My vision says the following must be done.
First, our elders who are currently trading accusations back and forth should shield their talking guns. Second, Government should, as previously suggested in this column, make dialogue the point of focus. It is superior to any other option.
Those that are classified as Boko Haram are fellow citizens who feel aggrieved. Whether their grievances are reasonable or not, would best be determined through dialogue and not combat. Third, from the events of the last two years, it is time to identify persons who can ensure fruitful dialogue with Boko Haram.
Fourth, it is not a sign of weakness for Government as a father, to bend backwards to accommodate his estranged child. It is indeed most unfortunate that our insecurity has not reduced and that wanton killings have not abated but combat has not worked. What this suggests is that pragmatism is not about what is elegant. Rather, it is about going for what works – a theory well espoused in my church on February 19, 2011 in a great sermon.
The Preacher was probably mocking but the message which was down to earth sank. He advocated that every public officer should be made to use Juju to take his oath of office. According to the Priest, because most people believe in the efficacy of Juju, no one would steal public fund after swearing with Juju that he would not do so.
Priests are not ghosts; they live among us. Like us, they are aware, for example, that a strategy that can compel politicians to keep faith with their colleagues on the sharing of political posts after elections is not an oath by the Koran or the bible but an oath at a Juju shrine like Okija etc.
Therefore, it is expedient to adopt what will work. It is the same reasoning that makes Nigerians believe more in prophecies on who will win an election, than the election process itself. They know that these days, every election is officially rated better than the previous ones although a critical look at each of them would reveal no substantial difference between them.
The list of registered voters is still overwhelmingly inaccurate; election materials continue to arrive late to polling centres on voting day; children-not just under aged persons- would vote; many legitimate voters would not find their names in the list of registered voters although such persons voted in the same centres in the immediate past exercise; the voter turnout would be abysmally low and it is the only the loser that would cry foul.
The only new element these days, is that election results are now read by Vice Chancellors of Universities, as if the status of such persons at the point of declaration of results, can cure whatever defects were introduced into the figures before and during collation.
My latest prophecy by the way is that free and fair elections are coming soon. Like my first vision, in which what is to be done was revealed to me, which is that Government and Boko Haram should embrace dialogue, I also have revelations on what is to be done about our elections.
I was able to see that there will be progress because our lawmakers will be forced to allow our election to be technology based. I also saw that many of them will lose the next general elections but the process will be sanitized. Double registrations will be rejected by the electronic device which will similarly make multiple thumb- printing to be futile, thereby dissuading many people from electoral malpractices.
So much will be saved from the high cost of mobilizing thousands of security operatives to police voting day activities. We can therefore hope that the winner of the coming Ondo Governorship election will be determined by a hitch-free process and not again by the whims and caprices of ‘Sooth Sayers’. Meanwhile, may Government and Boko Haram find genuine avenues for dialogue and peace in the interest of Nigeria.