By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

The idea has been around since the primaries, circulating among the old guard who believe that neither the presidential candidate of the APC nor that of the PDP is fit to “rule” the country as their generation has done time without number. But all the machinations failed. Nigeria went to the polls on February 25th and a decisive victor emerged, leaving no inch for any extra-constitutional construction.

Today, it takes a fake dream to imagine—or a hallucination to see—a window for an interim government. A public warning issued by the DSS confirms that the senescent creatures are still at their old trade, using weak-hearted politicians who cannot stomach defeat. Luckily, the nation has unanimously condemned them. This is not a Nigeria of 1980s or 1990s. We have moved on. We have retired the old guard forever.

Yes. We. We the generation of NYSC and Federal Government Colleges. The generation of presidential constitutions, republics and governments. The generation of the Federal Capital Territory. The survivors of June 12, Third Term and undertakers of 24 uninterrupted years of democratic journey. The generation of Internet communication technologies and social media platforms. The generation of free and fair elections driven by the voters’ register, card reader, BVAS and other smart technologies. The integrative, digital generation of 21st Century.

We are the products of the nationalist visions of Gowon and Murtala Mohammed, who sought to integrate the country after a bloody civil war. Our oldest, the 1974 set of NYSC, are at least 70 years now. In many ways, we are different from the earlier cohorts that were divided by ambition, fear and distance. It is no coincidence that we produced the 9 northern APC governors who gallantly stood for honour, peace and integration as well as the impartial Jegas and Yakubus at INEC.

In us has died the old narrative of mutual fear, hate and separation. In us are growing the buds of common citizenship, identity, interest, trust and future. In us is the belief that this nation has come so far where the old days of unrest and distrust appear too distant to return to. As we build formidable alliances on the ruins of previous regional antipathies, the corrosive sublimate of disunity is effectively neutralised.

That is why we cannot come out to join the post election protests. That is why today where Awolowo has failed before and at the spot where Abiola was robbed of the presidency, there is a Tinubu in the waiting as President-elect, backed by the North in rebellion against the whims of the old guard. February 25 was the unequivocal expression of a new dawn. A strong notochord is formed, which gives Nigeria the political stability it lacked before. Keying into it, as ribs do to the backbone, is the surest strategy for the survival of any political bloc. Opposing it only leads to self alienation and frustration.

President Buhari is committed to handing over to the President-elect come 29th May 2023. Another civilian to civilian transition will be achieved. On that day, a new reality—the Tinubu administration—will set in and the year long hallucination of an interim government will be over.

31 March 2023

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