The 2019 elections are on.
It is almost 5 pm on election Day.
I have spent the day casting my vote in the village of Wasimi and collating reports from agents and friends across Ogun State monitoring goings-on in polling booths in various parts of the State.
As is expected, there are all kinds of reports, from the good to the bad to the outright ugly.
I guess we shall leave the citizens to tell their own stories about the final verdict.
However, here in Wasimi, I must admit I am proud of my people. Not for whatever the result is but for conducting themselves properly during the election proper.
I was there in the village and they respected my presence and every thing went without a hitch. Whatever the result of the polls is irrelevant. The ‘best’ candidate won the elections.
Outside it, I really cannot tell.
At this point I can only rely on reports from our party monitors. They are few and they are powerless against the forces of those using the resources of government and the force of a large population of unemployed, restless youths driven by hunger and poverty society to live as destitutes in their rich land.
That may be the greatest revelation of my political experience in Ogun State (and I guess the rest of the country, by extension) so far.
In the towns, they rule the land. In the villages they are kings. We all are aware and live with their societal menace.
I went into the villages and small comunities and found them in legions in those environments. They survive by living off the by-product of their idleness, harassing and intimidating people for survival.
When the time for politics comes along they become willing and ready tools. They have a bazaar of the wages in ‘sin’ that their clandestine services bring.
Their lives have degenerated into a dangerous youth culture where misconduct is celebrated and has become an alternative to development and productivity. The scourge is expanding.
In the villages and even smaller communuties, I discovered a vibrant population of these young men being moulded by the ills in society. They are energetic, restless, angry, helpless and hopeless. With no defined future for most of them they become ready tools for mental and physical manipulation.
These are the population that will determine the future of the country and what this generation will bequeath the next.
It is all reflected in the on going elections.
They demand money to be canvassers, to be agents, and even to cast their votes. They are available to the highest bidders. They are a reflection of who we have become as a people and would ultimately determine our fate after these elections.
That is my greateat learning and also my pain in this political journey. Now I know we, the once proud tribe of distinction, of morals and good character, have degenerated into a tribe that breeds rulers without scruples, ready and willing to destroy their world inorder to dominate it.
The Yorubas face a real existential threat.
It is 5 O’clock. I am driving away from Wasimi, my beautiful village.
I drive past the cluster of rubbled houses, the voting and counting over.
I notice that some thirty or so people are still milling around the village waiting in a cluster.
I learn they are waiting for the fees for the service just rendered.
These are some of my most impoverished people in the village that I had sold a vision of a great future village and Ogun State to, who had listened in wondrous rapt attention and had promised to become disciples of that ‘gospel’.
Last night they were visited by the Prince of this World that promised them a chunk of the riches on earth if only they would bow down and worship it.
They weighed my word’s against the devil’s promise. 2000 Naira in the pocket is more certain than the new world that may never materialise. So, once again, they chose the latter.
Afrwr all, they are not the King of Kings, who, confronted with the same temptation and the same choices over two thousand years ago, said, ‘….for what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul’, and walked away from wasting marmon!
As I drove away from the ‘paradise’ of Wasimi, with my soul still intact, I gleaned the human cluster in the distance still waiting.
The Riches of the earth that was promised them in return for mortaging the future of their children by voting to sweet but temporary spiritual vomit, has still not come.
I am very glad that I stayed the miral course, played my part very well and did not stray from the long, narrow and lonely road. I would happily do it again and again.
I lost the elections in my beloved Wasimi, my beautiful village, but WON my soul in the greatest test yet in my life! Thank you Creator of the universe for the incredible experience.
By the way, I am getting ready for tennis again this evening.