Those who have read my rants in the past few days about the Nigerian election cycle would have noticed my preference for the incumbent as the best person to win the ticket and the election for 2011 in Nigeria. I made this choice because of his image as a uniter and someone whose ethnic background doesn’t becloud his judgement of his position as a responsible leader in a time of difficulty. For one, he is also a better and (to my opinion) more politically savvy person than the rest of the contestants. All that changed a few minutes ago.

I’ve spent this whole day at a public exhibition. You can call it “stuff white people like” if it makes more sense to you. It is an exhibition of food, wine, artworks, upholsteries, and other pastries at the Missouri Botanical Garden to last all weekend. It involves food tastings, wine sampling and a few other past times one could do while in a public park. The Botanical Garden itself was an ideal location and I was privileged to visit its amazing Climatron for the first time. It’s is an indoor garden with a tropical feel hosting hundreds of vegetation, many of which are already endangered in many parts of the world. One more peculiar thing about the market was that all the food, wine, upholsteries, artworks etc in the fair were all produced in the state of Missouri.

I have now just returned, only to read on the news that the President of Nigeria (Goodluck Jonathan) had, in a speech to ECOWAS yesterday come to the defense of MEND, the group who had yesterday claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts in the capital Abuja a few blocks from the independent anniversary celebrations – a blast that claimed the lives of about 8 people and wounded about half a dozen more. The president claimed that MEND who had already publicly claimed responsibility was not the real perpetrators, but was a stooge of some faceless enemy.  “WTF”, I first thought, then “What a shame,” and it was all over. Ethnicity, greed and nativity has taken over again, and the silver lining wiped out, all in an instance. Just yesterday while watching the independence parade on NTA, I was filled with some sense of solidarity with the president standing alone while his “brothers” from the oil-rich delta took the country to ransom and lose all previously-held goodwill. It would have been a source of political capital for such a president to be decisive, and to do what was necessary at the moment in time to show the perpetrators that killing innocents was not a way to show grievances. But now, he has relapsed into good old denial and it is all over. I have wiped my eyes from all drowsiness and confirmed that the wine has nothing to do with what I’m reading in the news. This is actually not the man we can trust with our votes for providing security for the nation.

I am now shopping for a new candidate.

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