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Temi Odejide
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When Your Candidate Wins...



I recently wrote an article titled ‘When your candidate does NOT win…’

Now sequel to that, I write: When your candidate wins what do you do?


I join the teeming multitudes in congratulating General Muhammadu Buhari on his victory in the fiercely contested, just concluded presidential election. We salute our new president-elect.


The battle was intense indeed and shockingly divisive. Brother turned against brother, sister against sister, husband against wife, Parents against children and vice versa. Even deep ties of shared faith could not hold many together. The amount of falsehood that was paraded as gospel truth on the behalf of both camps was ridiculous. Photo-shopped images became the order of the day. Claims and counter-claims, caution was thrown to the wind by many and even basic human respect for one another was lost in the foray of words. Some friendships are lost for the foreseeable future. Now all said and done, there was always going to be a winner and a loser. Can we now recover from the wounds we inflicted on each other in our bid to win the argument?


My question really is ‘what were we fighting for?’ Were we fighting for a candidate or were we fighting for Nigeria? Don’t be too quick to answer that question. Your answer to that question will be seen not heard in what you do next, now that your candidate has won (or lost).


We should have been fighting for Nigeria. We should be fighting for Nigeria and we must keep on fighting for Nigeria. Democracy has prevailed. The people have spoken. The Nigerian people have realized their power. But this is not the end. No, this is meant to be a new beginning.


Amongst the many reasons why the incumbent was defeated and the General victorious, was the pervasive perception of nonperformance on the part of the incumbent and the resultant insatiable desire for change in the hearts of the majority. Now change has come or has it? We need to be discerning to make sure that this change is not the mere ex-change of window dressing.


I reiterate once again that the real change required in our beloved nation is not only in the occupant of Aso Rock but really in our thinking as a people. ‘As a man thinks so he is’. As we think so we are. As long as our thinking is still essentially selfish, we will not move forward. As long as we think only of our clique, and ourselves we will only be treading water. As long as we exalt our individual ethnos over the collective it will be business as usual. When will we elevate our though beyond self to others? When will think beyond Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani and others and think of Nigeria and all Nigerians? It is time to embrace a Nigerian dream that transcends regions, ethnos and self. Real change does not start from without but from within.


As we congratulate and celebrate the victory of the people’s General, we must realize that this is not an end, nor time to retire back to life as usual but it is actually potentially a new beginning. The real work starts now. If indeed we have discovered our power as a people, we must continue to weld that power to demand good governance and delivery on the promises that our campaigning politicians made to us. It is time to stay alert and vigilant as regards nominations and appointments and refuse any incompetent appointments that are solely politically motivated. It is time to demand probity and best practices in all sectors of the governance of our society. There might now be a change at the top but there must also be change from the bottom. Let the change at the top work down and the change at the bottom work up till they meet in the middle squeezing out all that stand for corruption and selfishness. It is not time to wait for one leader to make the difference (God deliver us from the savior complex). It takes more than one man to change a nation, it takes a people, it takes you and I. Will you be the change we all desire? Let the change begin with you.


So when your candidate wins what do you do?

You should be magnanimous and gracious towards those who’s candidate did not win.

You don’t go to sleep but stay awake to make sure that promises are delivered upon and determine to assiduously contribute your own quota to building a new Nigeria.


Can we bury the hatchet? Can we think One Nigeria? Can we build a new Nigeria?


I believe we can.

I believe we must.

And I believe we will!


Will you join the movement?


Website: www.temiodejide.com

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