Gratitude! By Modiu Olaguro


 “Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being”- Elie Wiesel

In a country that stands in defiance to normality and rationality, be it in the realm of the physical or spiritual, every theory and theorem in the books of history, has had to be re-written to accommodate the rebellion of Nigeria. From economics to law, even, the sciences seem not to be spared either as events have reduced them to mere conjectures. An example is apt here: human flying at nights from Sango, south-west Nigeria to attend meetings inside a mango tree in Okija. Save the uniqueness of Nigeria, the gentry gelerian economist – whose name in those days makes males become feminists and females extremists in the gender-equality business – would never have fallen so deep in the space of public opinion.

That a white edible could be made from a dark pot still baffles our imagination. So the narrative of Moses and Pharaoh was not a mere thing of history confined to the holy books! That a government who loathes democratic process would appoint a disciplined, cerebral and upright man like Professor Attahiru Jega is a confirmation of the correctness of Moses adventure in Egypt.

In an office previously occupied by feeble-minded men who submits the noble mandate of electoral reforms and conducts to the whims and caprices of Abuja, Professor Jega has shown the whole world that all hope is not lost in Nigeria. His conduct and disposition paved a way for sanity to prevail at the polls. With Jega, the lost confidence has been regained as those individuals who had written us off as a nation of 170 million goats waiting to get a chance to yam the nation did not only have a rethink, but withdrew their misguided theorem.

As Professor Jega takes a bow, it is imperative for President Muhammadu Buhari to make wide consultations on the appointment of a worthy successor as the country still has men of honour in abundance. If democracy is here to stay, continuity in ideology, and diligence at par with that of the Bayero academic must be the only yardstick.

Jega’s handling of INEC was a never-ending battle between vision and mission; while vision stretches over time, its counterpart works on immediate gains. That the professor managed both is a testament to his administrative acumen as a man of the moment.  His mission to conduct free, fair and credible elections was accomplished while his vision to strengthening the commission to be a force to reckon with among our national institutions was not left in abeyance.

In 2011, the first set of national elections was cancelled due to issues that showed the naivety of INEC which not only made Nigerians lose confidence in his ability, but made them fume at the enormous resources that was spent on that fruitless Saturday. Now we know that that singular decision by Jega and his team was a calculated attempt aimed at straightening the electoral body. That the 2015 elections was a better exercise than 2011 is no doubt. What better way to prove one’s worth by working to avoid previous mistakes? Elections after elections, polls after polls, it seem evident that the man from Jega who wears the name Jega puts his brain to task by wanting to make a statement that we can get it right in Nigeria.

With the introduction of the permanent voters’ card (PVC) and electronic card readers, Jega succeeded in making the voting process credible and tribunal’s job itch-free. Although he takes a bow while the job at INEC is still far from perfection, only the blind would fail to see that Jega left INEC better than he met it. That alone is a consolation.

And as the noble prophet of Islam (SAW) said: “he who is not grateful to man will definitely not be grateful to God”.

Thank you Professor. Having paid your dues, you are hereby discharged and acquitted.

Mr. Orubebe, now you can have prof’s seat.

Modiu Olaguro, a youth corps member writes from Jebba.

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