IT has not been an inspiring presidential campaign in any way. This does not come as a surprise. The political economy that is entrenched now is based on a patron and client relationship, the political formations (they can hardly be described as political parties) are a reflection of this.
Not based on ideologies or any discernable thrust of philosophy, they postulate the established “it is our turn to eat” veneer garnished with seasonings of tribe and religion. All of which represents the perennial fault lines.
Mercifully, hard daunting reality has seeped in influencing the direction of the discourse. There is now a general (reluctant?) acceptance that the state in Nigeria as presently constituted is unsustainable. In the conventional wisdom pharos borne out of self preservation, other is now an acceptance of the need to move from consumption which includes primitive accumulation into production. For this belated awakening we should be grateful.
The fog of uncertainty reflects our very backward uncompetitive framework. Unlike the Republic of South Africa and Kenya for example, the country does not have established structured and reputable opinion polling companies to guide those observing the trend and the current. This tells its own story about an uncompetitive economy dominated by oligarchs, political merchants and cozy relationships all interwoven in – restraint – of – trade fleecing the consumer.
The sort of economy we have cannot develop data-driven market research that will lead to acceptable, respected opinion polls. What we have now is a reflection of this, guess estimates in the place of opinion polls. In so many ways we are so very much behind.
The winner of the election is unlikely to get more than 34% of the vote. Once the constitutionally required spread is obtained across the geo-political zones it’s all over bar the shouting.
A run-off is certainly not on the horizon. This is because the two dominant parties have the structures on the ground across the country to get the desired “spread”.
All well and good? The lacuna is the inconvenient proposition of having to take brutal unpopular but inevitable decisions with such a tiny mandate. As is now the conventional wisdom whoever wins will be inheriting a poisoned chalice.
In such a situation, alliances should be formed to achieve national cohesion. Unfortunately, our spoils sharing system precludes this. Which means that there will be no popular front or a government of national unity. Decisions long delayed and postponed will now have to be taken without the necessary national cohesion. Let’s brace up for bizarre twists and turns ahead with luck we might avoid a cataclysm. It will be stormy weather.
The campaign has not answered the question “wherein the crises in Nigeria lie” starting from litigation and disputes after the day if the election and with a fractious National Assembly it will have to be answered in full measure. It is going to be a national awakening to painful reality.