The 2015 general elections have come and gone, but its memories will not be hastily wiped from the annals of Nigerian politics. The election witnessed the defeat of an incumbent president, and saw the emergence of new crop of leaders under the auspice of change and banner of the broom, poised for the “liberation” of Nigeria from the chains that kept it bound. The wind of change blew so hot and strong that 79 Senators and 229 Representatives will not find their way back to the chambers of the National Assembly. This is aside the serving Governors who contested various positions and lost woefully. Thus, the reign of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who foretold that they would be in power for sixty years was abruptly truncated to sixteen years, which left me imagining whether they misheard the seer who told them that, or the seer never saw well. Whatever be the case, political prophecies in this part of the world is nothing much to be desired, as it has not only misled many, but left others in nihility due to political miscalculations.

In line with the foregoing, most Nigerian seers can only keep their heads low in a gathering of their followers, as they have not only made future declarations as to those who will win/lose the 2015 elections, but they have tied those declarations to their personalities, thereby putting their character to test. They not only predicted winners and losers, but prophesied bloodshed after the elections. Now that their prophecies never saw the light of the day, their personalities as true messengers is highly disputable. Whether they will they keep off from that venture or offer apologies mixed with explanations is what time alone can tell. But definitely, the results of the 2015 general elections have despised all the favourable and highly probable conditions under which a prophecy could have come to pass, thereby affirming that prophecy is neither guesswork nor a product of arithmetic. And as for those whose prophecies have come to pass - whether out of malice or a political will - we celebrate them and wish them same luck next time.

The power of the electorate to vote for the leaders of their choice has been affirmed. Before now, it bothers less whether one is actually the right candidate to be voted into power or not. Certain factors determined how our leaders emerged; one of which was “god-fatherism”. I am glad the power of god-fatherism failed both the god-fathers and their sons. The election was a contest between the people and other undemocratic variables. The people had their say, and this goes a long way in teaching a lesson to the incoming leaders that in a similar way in which they were elected, they would also be sent packing if they failed to promote and carry out the wishes and aspirations of the electorates. The electorates went back home as the kings that they were, after electing their “servants” who will serve them for the next four years. The god-fathers went home disappointed, having lost – either personally or through their sons - but with the full understanding of the new era in our political dispensation. An era where every elected person into a government office is conscious of the fact that his primary assignment is the delivery of the promises he made when seeking for election; and of course, his ability to see governance as a delicate affair.

What of the goodwill that the onetime largest political party in Africa has lost? Do you know that some people voted out PDP not because in APC they were assured of a saving grace but simply because the PDP has styled itself as a monster that cares little about the wishes of people, even when they constitute the majority? I have a friend, Mr. Allan Bologun, who though resident in England, but for the fact that he has heard and read of the injustice, inconsideration and inadherence of PDP to matters that bother the common man, would always advocate for “change”. Each time I asked him about the certainty that APC will correct the anomalies in the polity, he will always retort back: “at least let’s give them a trial”. I have no doubts that he is one of the many Nigerians who have given APC this trial for the next four years. This is why I believe that the continuity of APC in Government after 2019 is highly probable and strictly tied to their performance both at the federal level, and in the various states they are controlling. Thus, in as much as personality was an issue in the 2015 general elections, some people were strong adherents of any other political party aside PDP. This explains the uncommon rate at which the wind of change blew in the North.

Related to the above is the “Buhari factor”, which was also responsible for the rate at which people voted for change. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari needs no introduction among the northerners, who have always esteemed him like a demi-god. “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”, is an adage which underscores one’s personality based on association. Most of those who were fortunate to have their hands lifted by the retired General as candidates to be voted for, emerged victorious at the polls. Thus, their association with General Muhammadu Buhari was the reason for their victory.

On a different note, one fascinating aspect of the 2015 general election was the acceptance of defeat by losers. Most of these losers happen to be members of the PDP who deemed it fit to emulate the legacy laid by President Goodluck Jonathan who not only conceded defeat, but was the first to call and congratulate the president-elect. This is not to say that the elections were completely perfect, but it marks the re-introduction of politics without bitterness. It is in the light of this that the APC’s call for the cancellation of election in the places where it lost is seen as nonsensical. Acceptance of defeat by losers has helped in stabilizing the polity and preventing any post-election violence.

Lastly, after the defeat of Jonathan at the polls, many PDP members defected to APC. This explains that many politicians are in a party only because of what they can get not because they have a similar ideology with the party. This is very bad for our democracy, as the possibility of a strong and virile opposition that will keep the government of the day on its toes is lost, if everyone defects to APC simply because it is now the ruling party. APC rejected them, and I hope they come back to fight as men!

About the Author:
 Author Photo Bandawa writes from Abuja, Nigeria. You can follow on twitter @NBandawa