Unlike many of our rulers, Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney, did hinge their hopes on religion, ethnicity and some other narrow sentiments. They wooed voters with blueprints on the economy, tax plans, job creation, health care, education, foreign affairs, and so on.
On Election Day, the best of American democracy was on display: people trooped out en masses to cast their votes; they conducted themselves peacefully; there were no thugs snatching ballot boxes; neither were there gun-toting soldiers and policemen harassing the electorate. The enthusiasm was such that even a 21-year-old woman Galicia Malone, who was in labour still, went to exercise her franchise en route to the hospital. In our own case, an election in one state could attract battalions of soldier and bring vehicular movement to a standstill in a section of the country as was witnessed in the recently held governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states respectively. And contrary to the views of those who say we are still learning, the orderliness of last Tuesday has been the pattern in the USA for over 200 years. American democracy did not start with thuggery and criminality.
In deciding the form of government for themselves, the America’s founding father, first considered what the end of government is. According to one of them, John Adams, “Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all Divines and moral Philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security or, in one word, happiness to the greatness number of persons, an in the greatness degree, is the best”. For Americans therefore, the love of the country comes first.
Obama and Romney demonstrated that in their actions and speeches throughout the election period. It is that love for the American values that propelled Romney to immediately concede defeated and congratulate Obama. “I believe in America,” Romney said, “I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about the nation chose another leader. And so Ann (his wife) and join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”
Obama himself brought that love home when he said, “We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.”
One important thing to note is that less than 24 hours after the election, the result was known. There was no cry of rigging, no endless waiting for result and no threats of violence litigation. The process was so smooth that it puts the so called elections in Nigeria to serious ridicule.
Even when the parties spent billions of dollars in the campaigns, nobody tampered with the state treasury. The money came from voluntary donations. And there was no question of bribing electoral officers, security men or voters with money recharge cards, bags of salt or rice to vote a particular candidate.
We always give the excuse that Nigeria is a complex, multi-ethnic society. But we are not more complex than America. America has 50 states with diverse people made up of blacks, white, Africans, Jews, Hispanies, Asian and many others. Based on an appropriate political structure, they have been able to galvanize these diverse groups such that the son of an immigrant from Kenya is now a two-term President of America. This unity in diversity is what makes America the greatest nation on earth.
Nigeria can also attain greater heights if we acknowledge our diversity, jettison all pretensions to uniformity and entrench transparency and selflessness in our actions. It is practically impossible and naïve to expect a country of more than 250 ethnic nationalities to remain caged in centralized government. While we rejoiced with Obama and Americans for his electoral feat, we must remind ourselves of the words of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence,
Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seems most like to effect their safety and happiness.
Jan 18, 2016 0
May 10, 2015 0
Nov 11, 2017 0The world Black and Arts festival that was hosted in...
May 27, 2015 0Lagos State House of Assembly has invited Josephine Agwu...
Nov 17, 2017 0Tiwa savage is a natural singer with sense of passion to show case the dynamic qualities she possessed, which has earned her accolade and support from numerous fans across Africa and United Kingdom....