by Jean-Jacques Cornish
One could be forgiven for rubbing one’s eyes and thinking it was an April fool’s joke.
A Nigerian president democratically unseated.
Ironic too, given that the last time the new leader Muhammadu Buhari came to power was via a coup.
I have covered elections in Britain where the arrival of the removal van at the backdoor of Number 10 Downing Street to collect the good of the defeated premier filled one with envy.
This was not the way things went back home in Africa.
We were lectured by US diplomats after Barak Obama’s presidential victory.
There was not mention of a power sharing agreement, they said, referring to the all-too-often solution brokered after African polls in Africa.
We simply had to swallow it.
On Tuesday night Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat even before the official results of Nigeria’s election were announced.
On Thursday morning he promised Muhammadu Buhari a peaceful transition, saying: “Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.”
I delve into my store of expressions from those times when we idealistically believed the world could actually change and find: Right on!
Buhari may celebrate today, but he is under pressure to deliver.
He must defeat the Boko Haram insurgency.
He must shake loose the corruption hamstringing Nigeria.
He must take tough economic measures to balance the books skewed by the falling oil price.
An unenviably stacked in-box.
But one no has reason to believe that in a country now run by a military leader turned avowed democrat, anything’s possible.