Policy Briefs

The Silence of the Graveyard

By Chika Okpalike

After the 2015 presidential elections, the APC government was dazed by the boneless concession of the former PDP administration. The conflagration that was rehearsed at various sectors was stalemated by a graveyard silence. The APC government was thrown into a disarray of in-fighting; showing that it was ready for opposition and fight, not for governance. Whether or not it has recovered from that dazzling, is open for all Nigerians to see. 

After the 2016 elections in the United States of America, the Republicans were overwhelmed by the democratic concession of Hillary Clinton to defeat. That election defied all predictions and permutations to sway the side of Donald Trump. The deafening silence that followed brought confusion to the Republican establishment, tightened the tension between them and Donald Trump and radicalized Trump’s belligerence that expanded the rift between the White House and Capitol Hill. The Republican government is still dealing with it. The hand of Russia is still being sought in the American pot of soup because some people lacked the sanity and decency to seek a win in a family feud even when dining with the enemy affords it. Donald Trump who has since been named the American President is still on the campaign trail one year after, simply because his victory was unprecedented and magical, even Trump himself was not prepared for it.

The graveyard silence engulfed Anambra State after the November 18 gubernatorial elections. What a success! A success which to gain it, the state treasury was thrown open, war alarm was raised at all corners of the state, slander and calumniation was unleashed on political opponents, personalities we should be proud of were smeared, caution, decency and traditional morality were thrown to the wind, ndi-Anambra were summoned from all nook and crannies of the world to protect Anambra State from sinking, all to win an election. The hot contest made me proud being onye-Anambra. Then the disconcerting silence after Rachel’s plate of porridge offered to hungry Esau and the deceit of the blind Isaac. Ndi-Anambra, where is Jacob?

Now it is days after the election and everywhere is cool with the pervading silence of what my friend Olisaeloka Ekwosi Olisaeloka called “The daring Ehee”. The silence bespeaks the words of Salvador Dali: “The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of miscontents”. The silence of the miscontents speaks no jealousy, therefore the success lacked the sweetness of any celebration; so, ‘Ehee?’ Rather the secret is coming to bare, the cipher deciphered and the code decoded. Everyone knew that so good a success must be designed in heaven, so let it be with God and all went sorrowfully away. Yes, after the Jews and the Romans connived and killed one common enemy, Jesus, one should expect that the jubilation will be sizzling. But no, it was rather the silence that heralded the resurrection of the Jesus who was assumed dead.

The principal players in the Anambra gubernatorial elections are locked away in the secrets of those who will for a long time bear the scruple of the election in their consciences. For those whom this win was a success, was this worth the trouble? How may one not think that this win was too sweet to be healthy? How may one not think that this win is not an Igbo sample? Yet the silence will be on while the ghosts of a land scourged by ego acquisition and contest will keep lamenting the foul fragrance of a sacrificed future. 

Here is not America; if it was a Jim Comey or Christopher Wray or better still Robert Mueller would have gone to work to fish out who colluded with some foreign agencies and our own Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to foist this wonderful result. But how could any investigation make sense when “Nke a bu nke anyi”. If a man eats his own food or spends his own money in the disposition of a thief, at each time doing everything possible not to be caught, he is only spending his money and eating his food; who cares? Nke a bu nke anyi; aka enwe bu aka anyi. It goes beyond the saying “wepu aka enwe n’ofe….” because “Ofe bu nke anyi”. However this silence comes with its challenges.

The challenges for APC and Buhari-led government gave rise to in-fighting, For Republicans and Trump, it was altercations and pugnacity, for APGA and Obiano, who knows? The harmattan wind is blowing; it is cold and dry, we need some covering; please God our clothes were not spent. Even the earth moving machines that were warming up for the dry season to commence massive construction of roads and other infrastructure went silent. We are enjoying the newly installed street lights and the hastily patched roads that made the success of November 18 a shocker to everyone. 

The willingness of our will was tested and clearly we willingly overlooked the exaggerated capacity of our will. The sucker punch has been dealt on the daring enemy. The management and maintenance of an expensive victory may be costlier than the endurance of a calculated failure. Not every win is a success; not every silence is a defeat. We will keep reminding ourselves of things we do not need to forget so as to piece our history together.

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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