For once we have seen all Nigerians give a prophecy and it came to pass. It was one of the election petitions that started with so much enthusiasm, but along the line slipped into a period where no one cares what the result would be. Indeed, many predicted the Tribunal Judgment to be in favour of President Bola Tinubu.
It is Wednesday, September 6, 2023, and in the streets, no one cares about the result anymore. In fact, an industrial action that appears like a script being played out, had started a day before.
Basically, the Tribunal Judgment was like a leaked jamb examination paper. Everyone who saw the paper could confidently say they had an admission.
President Bola Tinubu is the one whose election was being contested, by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP).
Both parties’ candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, are saying that Tinubu did not win the 2023 Presidential election on free, fair and credible ‘grounds’.
They say the presidential election was manipulated to favour Tinubu.
Indeed, there were glaring irregularities and gross disenfranchisement by touts who threatened to maim and even kill voters perceived as people who would make their favoured candidate, Bola Tinubu, not to win.
A Rushed Situation
It has been months of back and forth, poor documentations and claims of lack of access to vital documents and data that could help the oppositions push their claims in the case to a logical conclusion.
But before our very eyes, like a rushed situation, the Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday announced that it would decide on the matter on September 6.
It is on a day that President Tinubu would be away in India for a summit.
People said the decision could point to a chance that he knew the pendulum would settle home.
Even those in court appear aware too.
Representatives of the different political parties sat quietly, waiting for the judgment of the Tribunal.
Better put, they were waiting for the confirmation of what was sitting deeply in their mind – The Tribunal will uphold Tinubu’s victory.
While the document carrying the ‘Tribunal Judgment’ was being read, people paid less attention. You could see lawyers in court having discussions and ‘gisting’ away.
Really, it was like the entire thing had been figured out before now. For some, being in court was to fulfil all righteousness of legal practice.
President Bola Tinubu had told everyone running for the election, especially those in his political party, that it was his time to rule, popularising the short but deep sentence: ‘Emi Lokan’.
If it was about strategy, every politician in Nigeria gives it up for President Bola Tinubu. But not many of them had thought he figured it out.
He had received accolades as a man who stands by his words, and many politicians who he told it was their time to jump on the wagon, and it came to pass, could testify.
President Tinubu had on the Same Tuesday, September 5, met with service chiefs to concretise security plans ahead of the judgement and also to uphold a paramount desire – Nigeria must be at peace while I am away.
The Evening Judgement
Nigeria is in a precarious state and the heat is mounting. From May that President Tinubu took over, Nigerians had had to adjust their belts several times.
A sudden subsidy removal before its scheduled date had forced everyone to begin to adjust expenses.
Salaries of many have remained constant while prices of commodities have shifter severally.
The president knows it could get to boiling point with a result that displeases supporters of two political parties that wield enormous power in Nigeria.
One shares the old population with Tinubu while the other have the hearts of the younger generation who wanted a shift.
Going by strategy, the young are often restive, and this calls for the need to ensure that the judgement delayed till evening. It will ensure that the power to protest the Tribunal judgment must have gone south and that by morning, the streets will be empty.
Anger, they say, ‘dies in sleep’ and a fresh brain, cleaned by sleep, will not wake up thinking protest. Instead, that individual will consider the tribunal judgment properly.
The Sudden Support And Belief
The master strategies must have figured it all out.
To cap his Emi Lokan mantra, Nigerians are beginning to see that the change many of them craved is coming.
Although, with harsh reality, they say it is necessary for that Nigeria of our dream to come to pass.
However, everyone faults the government for not rolling out palliatives before the removal. It is an error President Tinubu himself took the blame for.
He says the statement: “Subsidy is gone”, was not in his written speech.
There is this sudden support that he is enjoying from Nigerians, and he knows. If he fails, the burden will be huge.
The Tribunal judgement has given him an opportunity to move with speed and consolidate before the Supreme Court gives its final judgment on the matter. Although everyone appears to have figured whose side it will also go.
That said, one will but hope that the body language of a ‘Renewed Hope’ will not fizzle out, like that of former President Muhammadu Buhari when those who had jumped into political band wagon for the money began to revolt.
That time is coming. Indeed, Nigeria to move forward, the cost of governance must come down drastically. The nation needs more money to go into capital projects and investments in people – the education sector.
We wait, watch and see.
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