American election and our darkness
A certain Duke Asidere wrote on Facebook Last Wednesday: “There is more darkness in Nigeria now... What’s wrong here ? Days on without power !
The men and women who want us to remain in darkness must leave us! Have we not suffered enough?! What’s wrong here?” I think he is right. The men and women of darkness must leave us alone and let us find our way out of the pitch of the dark alley they have put us. I also agree with the question he asked, “What’s wrong here? People of the religions will give us the indolent answer of sin. Their opponents will tell us the thing that is wrong with us is the leadership. And yet, others will yell and rope in all of us and drag us into the dock as the real culprits of the pitch darkness that is our brand of light.
The United States will reinvent itself tomorrow as it elects a new President. We have all been dragged along the great hallway of glitz, glamour and the grill of the American way of choosing its leader. We have seen how the iron heart of the American leader is tested in the blazing furnace of debates. We have heard direct how the mind that seeks to rule the US of tomorrow voices out what it thinks about the future. We have seen the faces of the men who want the prized medal of leadership. We have heard direct from them and not through any godfather. We have listened to words not just of promises of hope and transformation but of concrete, practicable plans of transformation to greater glory. We have seen the media, even in their unabashed partisanship, displaying gallantry in interrogating power and telling truth to would-be power...
We have not heard any appeal to pity from President Barack Obama about a past without a father by his side. We have not heard from Mitt Romney any compensatory plea over his father’s failed bid for the American presidency. We have not heard any one reminding us of a past without shoes. All we have heard and seen in this contest have been hard core engagements in robust discussions on the challenged economy of America and associated foreign and domestic issues. Of course, there have been questions about what tax someone paid on his vast resources.
The American does not weigh himself down with thoughts about a darkness lacking lights at the horizon. Where there are no hopes, he creates one, where darkness persists, he does something even as little as lighting a candle. He is unlike the Nigerian who wails and rails at power outage, forgetting that unless someone does something nothing happens. Elections in America are fiercely fought, won and lost.
At the end of every contest, the American spirit wins and rejoices at its victory over divisive politics. In Nigeria, all elections are wars. They are fiercely fought like the American presidential election but with spices of raw cash, cudgel, machete and bullets. At the end of every election in Nigeria, the national spirit is subdued. The people check their blood pressure. Politicians count their gains and losses. At this period when the sun is supposed to rise in the horizon, a pall of darkness descends. And we grumble and cry and pray while the winner recoups his funds.
We have seen how the American asks questions about everything using every means: Facebook, Twitter, mainstream media among others. He does not get attacked, picked up or quizzed. That is why his system works. That is why the Nigerian system will continue to breed leaders who, when challenged, will rather whine ignoring winning. A nation where three year olds know what “Up NEPA” means cannot honestly claim to be a nation of light.
Americans are electing their president this week and we have seen how all politics gave way to attention on Hurricane Sandy and its millions of victims. There was no silent betrayal of the American resolve to stand up to the storm of the century. Obama never abandoned his duties to the state in that moment of grief and emergency. He never said he was being distracted by politics. He cannot and must not be distracted by anything. Nothing, no situation however gloomy, overwhelms him. Romney, the symbol of opposition, was not an additional pain in the neck of the government. To both of them, America was more important than any political prize.
There can’t be light at the end of the tunnel of any nation where governmental accomplishments end with plans rolling from one term to another. There will be darkness ever wherever those hired to preserve the collective sight use office pins to check the ocular pressure.
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