We have a new president in the person of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.). President Goodluck Jonathan was gracious in defeat and he congratulated the president-elect; history will be kind to him for conducting a peaceful election.
For the first time in the fifty-four year history of my beloved country, Nigeria, an incumbent president was voted out of the office through the ballot box and the electorates.
I must acknowledge the bravery of every Nigerian voter, those from the Northern region of the country who were internally displaced, those who had to relocate from one location/ state to the other (my boss and I are reference points) due to voters having to vote where they had registered as directed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), those who had to leave the house as early as 4am to beat the movement restriction scheduled for 8am, down to those who walked kilometers to the polling units to cast their votes.
The international community has also praised the closely-watched election, declaring it free and fair. By and large, it was peaceful, despite technical glitches and isolated violence reported in some parts of the country. Commendable, I must say.
What happened on the voting day solidified my belief that Nigerians are heading in the right direction; the scenery was exactly what people power should look like. I’ll be the first to say that this one election may not revive our struggling economy, resurrect our devalued naira, corruption may not be successfully uprooted overnight, and of course Boko Haram will not magically poof off, but we are on course.
Going forward, it will no longer be business as usual; politicians no longer have the luxury of swaying us with words to vote them back in when they under-perform. The Nigerian youths are a lot wiser. We will no longer be used as tools in the hands of politicians for pre and post-electoral violence. At least, images of perseverance and people power are all over the social networking platforms.
This is a new day for Nigeria with over 170 million people and a new era for the African continent. Although, I cannot predict the future or even the next four years for Nigeria, I am inspired, encouraged, hopeful and grateful to Almighty God for the new opportunity given to my country men and women.
Let us all work towards tilting the democratization arc to lean towards a just nation and an equitable world.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless us all.