By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
When Hilary Clinton lost the US presidential elections in 2016 she wrote down her thoughts on what played out. She entitled her musings ‘What Happened’ which became a major bestselling book. While she attributed her loss to various factors she did not spare herself from blame. In her own words the most difficult part was when she had to attend the swearing-in ceremony of her rival Donald Trump.
Mrs. Clinton’s attitude is highly unusual but commendable. In the coming weeks if not months much will be said about our own presidential elections but what lessons can we all learn despite our deep seated political differences? To start with the cost of organizing the 2019 cycle of elections is N242 billion which recorded a total voter turnout of less than a total of 30 million voters for the presidential elections in a country of 198 million citizens. From matters arising from the February 23 polls the next election cycle must have more of technology introduced and less of cumbersome paper work. The diaspora needs to also be factored in. There are over 260,000 documented Americans of Nigerian descent in the US. In the UK they are actually 201,184.
Put together including those elsewhere in the world our compatriots abroad are actually more than those that voted in the FCT last Saturday yet these same Nigerians remitted a total of US$21 billion back home in 2017 alone. Hilary Clinton dedicated her book to her campaign staff which she all named and thanked. She did not hide her resentment and explained how she had been coping since her loss. She also broke some furniture, smashed various household items and flung objects at her husband. It was all in a bid to get psychological closure. Moving closer home: how should Atiku Abubakar handle the results as declared by INEC? I have just read President Buhari’s acceptance speech and I am wondering how his supporters can look Nigerians in the face and still claim he is a man of integrity. Will they ever accept like Umar Yar’adua did that the process led by Mahmood Yakubu was credible?
That notwithstanding like Hilary declared in the conclusion of her book – “Keep going”. Simply put remain vigilant.
As I was saying before the elections: many relationships have broken down with so many friendships destroyed. Was it really worth it? Life however can always be summarized in just 3 words – it goes on. That is why for me the elections are over. I can now fully resume my hustling because I have got bills to pay. But for those of you who want to continue the political acrimony permit me to introduce you to Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who was deployed to fight the Americans on Lubang Island of Philippines in 1944 during the Second World War.
When the army base the 22 year old Onoda was serving was captured his good self with 3 others refused to surrender instead they retreated deep into the jungles. However by 1945 Japan had surrendered. The 4 soldiers noticed a lull in fighting and repopulation of the island but they nevertheless held on by eating stolen rice, coconuts and meat from stolen cattle from the isolated settlements of Lubang. The victorious Americans from intelligence reports were aware that the 4 were still carrying on the fight so they dropped leaflets from aircraft. They included photographs of the surrender ceremony, current newspapers from Japan and copies of letters from their various families. The relevant authorities also announced from loudspeakers the war was over but the tenacious soldiers did not bulge. They dismissed all those efforts as fake. Not until 1950 when one was killed by the Philippine army. Another in 1954. By 1972 another had surrendered with a message from Onoda that he would only be relieved from duty by his superior. So his commanding officer retired Major Yoshini Taniguchi had to be tracked down in Japan and sent into the jungles of Lubang. As soon as the now 52 year old soldier recognized his former boss he saluted him. He was then ordered to stand down and Onoda finally agreed to surrender. He rejoined civilization in his uniform that he had carefully preserved, carrying his rifle and remaining 500 rounds of ammo with his service sword after 30 years of active service. He is seen here handing over his prized blade to the then president of Philippines Ferdinand Marcos at the Malacanan Palace in 1974. The Samurai eventually left for Japan. He died in 2014 at his retirement farm house at the ripe age of 91. Coming nearer home the 2019 presidential elections will no doubt produce many like Onoda in Nigeria no matter the outcome from the INEC presidential collation center. The struggle continues.