A Circle of Sisters and Brothers of Spirit and Scholarship
Another way to look at conflicts is to try to find a WIN-WIN solution, in which both sides can benefit. In this way, conflicts are turned into opportunities to grow and make things better. This approach is the cornerstone of "conflict resolution" - an important tool for bringing peace into our personal lives, our communities and to our world. -- Robert Alan Silverstein.
I decided to visit my local jujuman last week and before one starts to frown, Nigerians are one of the most religious people around planet earth. However when it comes to religious tolerance we are also way down low the rating, with each of the two major faiths having something to say about the other. In the course of all the in fighting we seem to forget those of us that visit the 'native doctor'. And before someone starts to muscle me, "is this about native doctors?" No…so let me go quickly to my admonishment for this week.
The Nigerian elections are just few weeks away and the camps are visible, the tension is building, the hate and pre-election violence is on, some believe the elections have been won and lost. It is as tense as it is interesting, one of my friend say's one of the early losers is 'truth' and I cannot but agree, with the kind of lies and illogical reasoning out there, one should be afraid, which necessitated my visit to my local jujuman. While I sat in his consulting room, glancing around, Baba Gloria, my jujuman, my voodoo consultant, call him a magician, a witchdoctor, all rolled into one, had improved over the years---Now he even had the benefit of IT--a laptop, several handsets and other electronic apparatus he used for looking into the future and one he used when he needed to go back into the past.
Before I tell you why and what I had gone to ask him, he was showing me the past via a white bowl of water, it was our local "Skype" at its best --A younger Buhari, and Idiagbon in 1983, he showed me Nigeria, and how many celebrated when they were overthrown by IBB. I watched past elections and how Obasanjo would ask Professor Iwu to give him a copy of election results even before the elections were conducted. I saw a young and naive Jonathan as governor of Bayelsa was promising Bayelsans electricity and he never fulfilled it.
At some point I was lost, I was thinking, was Buhari really too old to govern Nigeria, was he strong or just political gimmicks, how about the goofs of Mr. Jonathan, whoever told him that Jim Nwobodo (the first bleaching governor) stole "small"...and why was Buhari knowing his GSM phone number an electoral issue. I thought of Jonathan's TAN, and the Buhari's CAN...I was troubled because I believed that "CHANGE and TRANSFORMATION' was really the same thing, just that I felt that conductors in public transport never had "CHANGE", same way that many a "TRANSFORMER' in Nigeria had no electricity in them.
I was lost in thought about Buhari's daughter, a beautiful damsel I must confess, and then the loose news of Jonathan's long lost son that just appeared. I asked would I miss Dame Patience, which was better a general without school certificate, or a PhD without accomplished papers…? I questioned my head, is it true that from his mother's lineage Buhari had blood ties with Borno, and what was it Jonathan was doing in Maduguri with soldiers, was it simply #electionthings or compassion? So Buhari wants to Islamize Nigeria, and Jonathan in turn is using Boko Haram to decimate the Northern population. How about most of us that are pagan worshippers, and the atheist amongst us, fact is, we are in a state of conflict, and darkness.
In my mind I wondered what was behind the laughter of both men, as they signed the Abuja peace accord that supporters of both camps will not kill us all. Baba Gloria's voice pierced into my head--This is what the 'gods' have to say about your question, but before I give you, my son I have two questions for you. Before I give you Baba's answer from the 'gods'--My question that took me to Baba was, "Who would win the February 14th 2015 General Elections?" Baba, put a few cowries on the floor, arranged them, rearranged them,...Looking up, he asked me this riddle, a black dog was standing in the middle of an intersection, very close to street light, none of the street lights were working, they rarely work in Nigeria. A car with two broken headlights drives towards the dog, but turns in time to avoid hitting him. How could the driver have seen the dog in time?
While I scratched my head, Baba Gloria, continued and revealed the message of the 'gods'. My son, the answer is, "It was daylight." The ‘gods' say it is daylight in Nigeria, either way the obvious would happen—Jonathan will win and Buhari would lose, or Buhari would win, and Jonathan will lose—The only female candidate will lose, but win too, however the truth is that it is daylight in Nigeria. Nigerians will be the ultimate winners—Our slow but tortuous journey towards good governance will not halt, there will be a few casualties, those that the ‘gods' want to kill they first make mad—so a few will pay the ultimate price but Nigerians will win.
APC will be a strong opposition if it loses, PDP wont be any different if it loses, we are making difficult intangible steps but they are steps. This is how I would sum up my admonition, a young peasant wanted to marry the king's daughter. The king didn't like the idea of his daughter marrying a peasant, but he wanted to appear to be fair in front of his subjects. The king said he will put two pieces of paper into a hat, one reading EXILE and the other reading MARRIAGE. Later that day, the peasant overheard the king saying both pieces of paper would read EXILE, thus ensuring that the peasant would be out of his way for good.
The peasant remained undaunted and, as arranged, arrived at the king's court where a large crowd gathered for the big event. The peasant then did something that assured him the hand of the king's daughter. The peasant picked one of the pieces of paper and tore it up. He then asked the king to show him the other piece of paper, which, of course read EXILE.
Now, whether Jonathan can campaign in Kano or not, or Buhari is too old, Nigerians will win, we have that enduring capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory vice versa—and what happens on February 14t? Only time will tell.