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On tenterhooks

This week is very important. Nigerians are on tenterhooks, awaiting the results of elections to know whether President Buhari will remain in office or a new president will replace him. We’re just about two days away from knowing what we’ve waited to know all year.

Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari in a dapper face cap

So what do you do in the next two days or less?

Penultimate Saturday, the elections were postponed to the shock of many. This brought about fears and distrust of the government in power and the election umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission.

Amid fears of plots to tamper with votes and calls from world powers for voters’ wishes to be respected, Nigeria went to the polls yesterday.

Nigerians are now waiting for the results of the elections to start pouring in. Some are agitated over what would be the likely turnout. I know some people who were hitherto friends are not on speaking terms. The votes have been cast and the winner is already on the way to victory.

ALSO READ: Gov El-Rufai votes after four hours on queue

My house is a bit tensed up. There is also tensed communication between neighbours , husbands and wives and siblings. As usual, my family is divided. There is a die –hard Buhari supporter who would not want to hear anything else. On my part, I’ve dreamt twice about winners and I couldn’t say it out. How could someone dream about two people winning an election?  I saw one candidate win first and then another win. I couldn’t explain it. Would there be an impasse?

But I’m worried more about how haters would reconcile. I’m also worried about husbands and wives who are having issues over the candidates.

A man from a neighouring village had to use the election as an excuse to relocate to the village. From what I heard, he is not coming back to Lagos. Things had been very tough for him in Lagos and he had been managing to survive, struggling to pay house rent, pay school fees for his children and take care of other needs of his wife and children. He had been looking for an opportunity to relocate to the village but because he could not explain his reasons for bringing his whole family back to the village, he had remained in Lagos.

But the election provided him a veritable excuse: Insecurity, confusion in the city where he was based. Many people are agitated. It was not only my neighbor that would not come back Lagos. Many people out of fear of what could become of Nigeria would rather stay closer home. Some fears are unfounded. Some are genuine fears.

For those agitated over the results, I mean the politicians and the candidates, they should be calm.

They should not fret about whatever anecdotes they hear about things happening about the polls. They should ignore them. They should not follow Twitter obsessively all day. In fact, they should log out of Twitter and Facebook for now. They should not read the news at all but put it all out of their mind. Their involvement over the next hours isn’t going to change things one way or another.

ALSO READ: Breaking: President Buhari wins in Atiku’s polling unit

They should do things they want to do today. They should go outside and take a long walk. They should go to church today if they are Christians. They should just do something that isn’t related to the election or politics. Then tonight, they should go home to their families and then talk about elections after dinner.

Indeed, politics affects one’s life. But in the end, life really isn’t about politics. Soon, many contestants will have all the information they want, and perhaps even more than they can digest, about how the country is going to be governed for the next four years. If it’s good news to you, then you’ll be fine. If it’s bad news, then you will have at least spared yourself the time obsessing over an outcome you couldn’t control in the first place.

Just wait a few hours.

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