By Prince Charles Dickson Ph.D.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. ~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
The Presidential elections in Nigeria have come and go, the lessons are for us to learn, like I often have said, in speaking of heaven I am reminded that there will be four and half surprises, 1) the people we will see there, 2) the people that we will not see, and 3) the fact that we are there, 4) how about if there is no heaven and finally there is nothing to lose after all in believing and making it, than not believing and you don’t make it.
When you are exposed to something useful on the internet, it is like hearing a good joke. You enjoy it and pass it on. The author of the following is likely to make you extend a thumbs UP for coming UP with this delightful vignette.
It is this vignette that I would use to admonish us on the just concluded polls. The difference is that this is actually not just a good joke but about the state of affairs in Nigeria. The first phase of our General Elections is not just on the front burner but the burner itself, not exactly fully dusted but let me take us on this ride…I cannot promise you that it would not be rigged, I recall it was one of our past presidents that alluded to the impossibility of a perfect election even if it were conducted by our Lord Jesus (Haram).
However, what we make of the last few days, and as we prepare for the last polls, it’s UP to us…
Up is a two-letter word that has more meanings than any other two-letter word in the English language” the treatise began. “You likely will agree with me when we are done. The Nigerian election is just like this treaty, except that this is one that may leave one more confused at the end.
If you consult your dictionary, you will find that ’up’ is listed as an adverb, adjective, noun, verb or preposition. It is easy to understand ’up’ meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? This introductory remark reminds me of our election, the BVAS, uploading on the IREV and failed servers, it depends on who is defining what, and which camp you belong to, the electoral act has over a thousand meanings depending on which law school you attended downtown or Uptown!
“At a meeting, why does a topic come UP. Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen? We lock UP our house and fix UP the old car. It reminds of the debate of finished completely and completely finished, has INEC done a job that is completely finished or finished completely a mess that may have consequences, is this election a learning process, steps backward or we are going up!
“At other times, this little word has very special meanings. People stir UP trouble, line UP for theatre tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. Do you see INEC, Tinubu, Atiku and Obi in the statement, one has worked up our appetite, the other stirred up trouble, another has come up with excuses.
“To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. How ‘bout the use of UP as follows: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. It is like understanding the kind of rigging our politicians engage in, and up till now, we never have come to the understanding that we are tools in the hands of politicians.
“We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night. If you don’t understand this up till this point, go to court. Litigations are won not necessarily because of the truth but by looking up the technicalities and who will be UP ended by the decision.
“You can easily tell that English speaking people are pretty mixed UP about UP. But our own wahala pass…Obi said he won, Atiku said he won, then Atiku said Obi could not have won, then INEC said Tinubu won. Up till tomorrow we are not sure because there were several Prophet Jeros and Alfa Nebuchadnezzar up the mountain seeing things from up.
“To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost a quarter of a page and can add UP to about 30 definitions. Again, this reminds me of all the Naira design and the APC vs. APC drama, the seeming wedding of LP and PDP to challenge APC or the fact that the Supreme court has extended the date for old notes use, leaving citizens tensed up, it is funny how we all are expert lawyers, up and down!
“If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. It is Up Nigerians because despite the best of provocation, we have done fairly well, just a handful killed or died as a direct or indirect result of the elections, baring a big and unseen provocation, the figure of casualty will not go up come the gubernatorial polls.
“When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, the earth soaks it UP. When it does not rain for a while, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but it is time to wrap UP for now, my time is UP. And indeed, while the LP has promised legal gymnastics to get back their mandate, they say they won’t give up, the judiciary must stand up, but doing what is right in these times will depend largely on who is up, Nigeria or Nigerians.
“For a post mortem, did this crack you UP? If the answer is yes, then don’t screw UP. We have a president-elect, Nigerians are the winners, our democracy is growing up, very debatable though, but we have not heard martial music, it’s UP to us, and if we want to scream, shut UP, then that is certainly okay… but the truth is that the last Mohicans are at the end of the tunnel, we are learning. It is a long journey, I dare say there is no end in sight, yet I remain cautiously optimistic that Nigeria will win, when—Only time will tell.
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