The Nigerian Presidential Elections have come and gone. We battled tribalism and other forms of bigotry to choose a President. It’s also been a storm of social media; propaganda made friends with facts and convenience became an order of the day with analysis.

Finally, we have a result; President Muhammadu Buhari has emerged victorious in the polls, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It opens up another chapter for Nigeria; a path where no one except celestial beings know where it leads.

Conversations on Twitter are split, with political allegiance, gut feeling on what suits Nigeria and even strong emotional aversion inspiring responses to the results.

But with all these we still had one winner, although, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has since publicly rejected the results of the elections and promised to challenge the results in court, meaning another elections petitions tribunal and huge payday for Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

However, the leaders matter so little in the grand scheme if there’s nothing to govern. For this reason, Pulse decided to speak to Nigerians to gather how they feel about the results with the following questions;

1. What do you feel about the elections and the winner? 

2. How do you feel about the people contesting the authenticity of the elections? 

3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years? 

4. What do you think about the subtle tribalism over the past 5 days? 

5. What’s your take on the third force? 

6. What would you like to see from the President, the youths and the country over the next four years?

Answers:

Ayo

1. What do you feel about the elections and the winner? 

The Elections reflected an improvement on our political orientation as a nation, and our nascent democracy as whole - you will agree with me that because the international observers, especially the Human Right Watch and EU think so.

My opinion is further premised on how the results from all states of the federation replicate the stance of the constituents. However, I condemn the violence recorded thus far in some parts of the country, especially in the south-south geopolitical region, and I see it as a clear act of desperation on the part of whoever is concerned. 

On the eventual winner, I believe that the President-elect has clear intentions deviod of any selfish interest as demonstrated in his pre-election campaign mantra that Nigerians should vote for whoever they want.

Even as much as I agree that he does not possess the requisite intellectual or cognitive capacity to get the economy on the high, I also believe that he has brighter minds around him that can help him actualize whatever projection he has for the country.

Finally, I strongly believe that the ruling party has more to offer the Country in terms of innovative policies than what is currently obtainable in the leading opposition party because they have in their ranks, people with strong antecedents in good governance. 

2. How do you feel about the people contesting the authenticity of the elections

Well, it is only natural for human beings to agonize loss, but what differentiates a progressive from also-rans is how they deal with such situation. Hence, I feel like the media war that has been concocted by people challenging the authenticity of the elections should exhibit sportmanship and explore legal channels already provided for by extant laws to vent the grievances.

3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years? 

I am really optimistic because it is quite evident that the major impediment to the Country's development is lack of basic infrastructures and failure to invest in human capital. However, the present government has demonstrated its commitment to concentrate on these grey areas.

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This is apparent in strings capital infrastructural project that the administration has embarked on since inception, ranging from power, rails, roads, agricultural development, and other social investment schemes.

4. What do you think about the subtle tribalism over the past 5 days? 

The issue of tribalism is an evil we cannot totally get rid of, except we change our individual outlooks on life and age-old bitterness by taking responsibility. The only solution to this societal ill is to have clear and specific constitutional provisions by way of reforms that with will address the issue of equal representation across all geopolitical zones.

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5. What’s your take on the third force? 

The idea of a Third Force is not bad on the face it, in as much as it provides the necessary checks and balances on the government as an institution. But what is left to be seen is whether the so called Third Force will be objective in their actions, if yes, then it will be a step forwards for our democracy.

6. What would you like to see from the President, the youths and the country over the next four years?

It is essential that the President maintains his commitment to improve infrastructures, security, economic development, and ultimately create an enabling environment for human capital to thrive. The youths should also focus on been innovative as means to staking their claim in the nation's polity.

Femi

1.      What do you feel about the elections and the winner?

The recent presidential election that was held, to me, was rife with a lot of problems which I believe a country and democracy like Nigeria’s should have gotten over. To put it mildly, it was shambolic even after INEC extended it by a week to sort out logistics. There were also incidences of violence, allegations of rigging and voters suppression.

Personally I believe the election was not free and fair.

Concerning the winner, Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, I congratulate him and I hope he will fulfill his electoral promises. But I am not really excited about his victory. His presidential antecedents is nothing to brag about.

2.      How do you feel about the people contesting the authenticity of the election?

Well, it is normal for emotions to run high especially amongst individuals on the losing side. I have seen a lot of numbers flying around which are meant to debunk the ones INEC rolled out. However, I believe cooler heads should prevail. We have a legal system designed for such grievances.

I will advise them to approach the election tribunals for proper recompense. Say what you will about the Nigerian legal system, it is still in the common parlance, the last hope of aggrieved Nigerians. They should approach the courts.

3.      Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years? 

Definitely pessimistic. I have always been pessimistic about politics and governance in Nigeria generally. I believe humans are naturally selfish creatures and our politicians are just posters for this trait.

And like I said earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari’s reputation as a terrible leader precedes him. A scenario where he suddenly changes and then begins to properly and diligently govern Nigeria in the next four years is almost inconceivable to me.

However, Nigerians are tenacious, hardworking and resourceful. I believe we citizens of this country can do our bit to make the country better irrespective of whether our leaders deliver or not.

4.      What do you think about the subtle tribalism over the past 5 days?

I think it is incredibly stupid and I think it must be quenched to curtail irreparable damage. It is surprising and unfortunate that this started from the social media and its fire was stoked by supposedly enlightened Nigerians and woke millennials. 

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Tribalism takes first place in the Nigerian political discourse ahead of ideological issues and this is sad. The mentality of ‘he is our son, so we will vote for him’ is greatly holding this nation back. Until we shed that skin, we may not progress. Not once in the history of Nigeria has tribal sentiments and conflict resulted in a happy ending. 

5.      What’s your take on the Third force?

I think it is achievable. I was really excited when news filtered in before the election that Dr. Oby Ezekwesilli has stepped down. I fervently waited for the news of Sowore and maybe Fela Durotoye also stepping down and all three subsequently announcing their support for Kingsley Moghalu. It would have been a glorious day for Nigeria politically.

I believe these guys blew the one chance we have had in years to create the third force. There is a simple magic spell for it to be practical and it is coalition.

Imagine if they had pooled their resources, backed a candidate amongst them and embarked on a Banky W-styled independence or Fayose- styled intense grass-root campaign. It would have been a good fight and a shocker for PDP and APC.

I am not saying they would have won, but they would have caused one hell of a scare and if they maintained the momentum till 2023, there would have been huge possibility that their candidate won.

Unfortunately, we are still aspiring to perspire or require.

Like I mentioned, it is attainable, all we need are dedicated, like minded and selfless citizens that will break the APC/PDP jinx.

6.      What would you like to see from the president, the youths and the country over the next four years?

From the president, I want to a higher level of communication. President Buhari is notorious for a lot of things, but the most annoying is his lack of communication. It was hilarious and a little bit patronizing to see that few weeks to the elections, he couldn’t get enough of broadcasts and press conferences. Something we literally have to beg him for in times of national crises. 

Governance is hard, there is no doubt about it, but governing millions of people in silence is wrong. Let the average Nigerians know what is going on, what challenges your administration is facing, how citizens can help, what they should expect and so forth. Also, he needs to show more empathy and the willingness to do something about the sufferings of Nigerians.

From the youth, I want to see an increase in active politics and political discourse. One devoid of tribalism or nepotism. I want us to get up from behind the phone and take meaningful positions in the actualization of our country’s future.

Online activism and noise making is practically a waste of time when it comes to politics in Nigeria. Do you feel that you have what it takes to be a leader? Do you think you can do better? Then get on with it. Put your money where your mouth is and gleefully see how others will follow you. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is just 29 and she is a member of the US’ 116th Congress.

From everyone else, I expect a heightened sense of patriotism and nationalism.

Oyindamola

1.      What do you feel about the elections and the winner?

I am disappointed in the whole coordination of the election. The process is clearly not transparent as reports of ballot box theft and violence have been disregarded all in a bit to keep the existing president in place. About the winner, when a winner is announced and a large part of the country is thrown into sadness, it says a lot about what the people really want.

As much as I want to be positive about him and his plans, I believe a president that had to wait for 6 months before re-election to start real work on projects he promised to work on prior his election wouldn't do much on re-election. Rather, he'll leverage on the fact that he has been elected already and can do whatever project he wants when he wants.

2. How do you feel about the people contesting the authenticity of the elections?

I personally followed the process of the declaration of the results of the states and doubt the authenticity - states which were prominently known for having insurgencies had more votes and supposed peaceful elections than the actual insurgency free zones. So yes, people deserve to contest the elections.

Some wards in the country had greatly inflated numbers of voters which is an evidence of manipulation of the records.

3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years? 

I honestly have no hope for the next four years. I just wish things do not get worse than they are already because that would be terrible. Look at the streets, the people are poor already and even those with jobs are getting paid just enough to get by, if the economy goes lower than it is already, it will be disastrous.

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If by some way; jobs, security, healthcare, power sector and commerce of the country is focused on, then the next four years might be great.

4. What do you think about the subtle tribalism over the past 5 days?

Tribalism has always been a key part of the country, it just happened to be shown more over the past 5 days. It's everywhere. A Yoruba man giving his kinsman a job before someone from another tribe. People from one tribe will generally help their kinsman before anyone, it's stemming on the belief that they could be family and share blood if their generations is traced back.

Tribalism is however drawing the country back and until Nigerians start seeing other Nigerians as simply Nigerians and not Yoruba or Igbo or Fulani, little progress will be made in the country.

5. What’s your take on the Third force?

I appreciate their efforts and attempt to better Nigeria. But for the type of country we have, it will take a number of years for the dominating parties to give the emerging parties a chance. However, they did try and shouldn't relent not their efforts. Instead, they should aim to occupying other positions where they can make positive impacts and not just give up or simply remain motivational speakers. They can do more.

6. What would you like to see from the president, the youths and the country over the next four years?

I want the President to fight corruption without batting eyes at any individual. People need to be held accountable for their actions - the politicians, the masses even the police and other forces. No one should get away with any form of criminal offence.

The legislative system is too porous and the laws of the country have to be critically reviewed. The government has to pay more attention to crucial areas of the country: education, power, healthcare and security. Other areas like agriculture, exporting, infrastructure and tourism should be worked on too.

More people are leaving Nigeria not because living overseas is completely perfect but because a system that works and cares for its citizens is lacking. Each Nigerian should be treated according to their actual human rights. We are not animals, our lives matter. The youths need to understand that changing the system is dependent on us and carrying out actions that will further damage what is on ground will not help the future generations to come.

Ibrahim

1.      What do you feel about the elections and the winner?

I feel like Nigerians were robbed of more credible candidates in this election. This cannot be the best Nigeria has to offer. I feel the winner is the one expected to win.

2. How do you feel about the people contesting the authenticity of the elections? 

I think the elections is as fair as it can be; a fairer election would still produce this winner. 2015 elections was better and fair than this.

3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years? 

I am pessimistic because I have seen what this administration can and cannot do.

4. What do you think about the subtle tribalism over the past 5 days?

I think it's sad that tribalism is still promoted for political gains by statesmen, teachers, religious leaders, and regional and sectional leaders.

5. What’s your take on the Third force?

Two, three years ago I had high hopes for third force, but it's sad they ended up where they are now. I truly hope they don't relent and start the movement and hopefully get it right in the next elections.

6. What would you like to see from the president, the youths and the country over the next four years?

I'll like to see the president prove the opposition wrong by aggressively working to improve the economy. I will like to see the youths participate more in honest politics without bias and tribalism. I'll like to see them actively work towards a better Nigeria. I'll like to see the country rally towards a more tolerating society striving for peace and progress.

Nonye

1.      What do you feel about the elections and the winner?

The 2019 Presidential Election pulled a big wave because a lot of Nigerians became more conscious of the suffering, massacre, injustice and so forth in the country. Hence, the just concluded elections became a bigger deal.

This would not be the first time that Nigerians are agitated about terrible governance and nothing would be done about it. Yet, in our hopeful minds, we were enthusiastic about this one. I was positive about this one.

 The initial postponement of the election at 3 am spelt doom. As usual, all we did was rant on social media and made direct comparisons with the postponement that occurred in the 2015 Presidential elections. 2015 was four years ago. GDP of neighboring countries have become forces but here we are justifying a 3 am postponement because something similar happened in 2015.

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2. How do you feel about the people contesting the authenticity of the elections? 

With so much consciousness, enthusiasm and said security measures – it was a violent, unorganized electoral process. Obviously unfair and in all things defeating the essence of democracy.

This essence was even further turned to a bigger joke when the results dragged through days with inconsistent figures in proportionality to regions of insurgency, age distributions a result of crisis etcetera in addition to reports of under aged voters participating in some regions with no investigation.

The results of the Presidential election was the most depressing news for majority of the country’s populace. It showed that majority of the population made brainwashed uninformed choices-irrespective of the candidate.

Reports showed that there were more than fifty candidates running for the office of the President, but in the long run Nigerians were caught between the devil and the red sea. Both of the candidates with a track record of economy damaging corrupt activities-both of whom are practically being recycled. Eventually, it came to of the ‘star candidates’ each trying to “out fraud” the other in the polls.

3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years? 

I am very pessimistic about the next general elections. From the fact that our dear intellectuals equated majority of the average uneducated population as being ‘politically informed’ because they spend a lot of time listening to their bedside radio to the fact that the electoral violence degenerated to ethnic feud especially on social media.

This subtle tribalism have been spiteful and are the kinds of propaganda that can begin an ethnic war and considering our history, this possibility is not farfetched.

5. What’s your take on the Third force?

The third force disappointed majority of youths who had high hopes and did not want recycled leaders. The third force were unprepared and clearly underestimated the magnitude of pressure they would be facing.

They had the personality strengths required, I believe they were collectively unclear about what their failure would result in. Nevertheless, I think that a viable lesson has been learnt here about the political front of Nigeria.

Over the next four years if living conditions improve in the country, I would sincerely be surprised. The last four years were filled with a lot of ‘not knowing when that happened’ from the President and Vice President. I am not sure why and how anything is going to change. No message was passed across, it was business as usual.

6. What would you like to see from the president, the youths and the country over the next four years?

For the youths of the most populous black nation, we have to stop aiming at pointless propaganda. Quit adjusting too quickly and believe that a system that work is too farfetched. The events that unfolded during the post and pre-election period showed that majority of the youths are gullible, uninformed, rigid, stubborn, intelligent for nothing and do not learn from history. We need to fix up

If Nigeria and Nigerians survive the next four years in one piece, it would be a miracle.

Long live Nigeria, we hope.