Nigeria: Forecasts for the Next 12 Months

Nigeria: Forecasts for the Next 12 Months

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By ANIEBO NWAMU

The trip to the grotto was smooth, except that there were rainstorms and windstorms followed by lightning during a downpour.  I set out 6pm on Thursday, May 31, and, shortly before midnight, I was sitting by the cave, waiting to hear from the ORACLE.  My mission?  Last week, this column promised to consult HER and make forecasts about events that would shape Nigeria in the next one year.

A reminder: since I discovered the seer, SHE has not missed a mark. So, let doubters know I stand on a solid rock – the predictions are from a position of strength. It was to the ORACLE’s credit that this column correctly predicted Goodluck Jonathan’s victory in 2011 and his defeat in 2015 as well as Donald Trump’s victory in America [I conveyed this forecast on Facebook at a time few people gave him a chance in his country]. There were others such as the devaluation of the naira, date of Buhari’s return after treatment in London, and the metastasizing of terrorism in the country.

The conversation with the ORACLE lasted longer than four hours, and, by the time I left the grotto and trekked for 30 minutes [before I could reach where humans lived], it was already dawn. I’ve paraphrased my recollections of the dialogue below.

The auguries are not pleasant, but SHE assured me that things won’t get worse than they had been.  The first question I wanted to ask was whether Buhari would still be president of Nigeria a year from that day. Eventually, it wasn’t the first question, but it came up later.

Wise One, greetings. My country seems to be broaching a crisis once more. Should we fear?

Your country has always been in the middle of a crisis, and you have always trembled. The next general elections will mimic the elections of 1964 and 1993; you will come out bruised as usual but the nation will remain. You should worry more about the economy – it will trigger the next big crisis.

A war?

A terrible conflict egged on by a major global crisis will start from the Middle East within the next  year. The nation that will soon host the World Cup will roar after playing the good host. Then, oil prices will spike but your country will not benefit from it. I see youth restiveness in a large part of your country. You may think it’s politics [as it will be just in the middle of electioneering] but it’s the economy. You will seek outside help but will not get it. Late harvests will be good, yet they won’t quench the hunger in the land.

What will the political parties look like?

The presidential primaries of the PDP will be rancorous, just like what you have just witnessed during the APC congresses. There will be re-alignments and implosions in both parties. A third force will not have any force.  I see betrayals from within and without. APC will, technically, become the defunct CPC from which Buhari came. A dinosaur in Rivers State will determine the fate of the PDP, including a decision on name change and its flag-bearer.  At last, a mixed-blood from the north will emerge its presidential candidate; his running mate will come from the east.

Will there be peace during the campaigns?

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Peace! Has your country ever had peace?  Anyway, there will be relative peace because the campaigns will be dull nationwide. The top two parties will still bribe voters both openly and in secret.  Nature and nations will intervene in Nigeria’s affairs, however. Certain world powers will support the presidential candidate of one [and its allies] while other powers will support the other.  There will be calls for a postponement of the polls and formation of an interim government.

Should we expect more distractions in the next 12 months?

Certainly yes. Just as you have distractions even now: your country is fast losing the war on terror; there are real threats of invasion by nomads from the Maghreb fleeing climate change. The American dollar will inch towards N400 by the year’s end. Floods will wreak havoc in some places by September, and, as usual, those affected will be left helpless. Malnutrition-related ailments kill thousands every day, but these don’t make headlines. Hopelessness   will enter a new season, and more Nigerians will vent their frustrations on the society – elections will provide a vehicle for them. Migrations to the West won’t help many; the solutions to Nigeria’s problems lie within the country.  In any case, both the rich and the poor will continue to cry, as politically-driven persecution in the gab of anti-corruption fight gets messier. Prepare for a state burial: a former leader will die from natural causes. Another will be incapacitated, and yet another (a business leader) will kick the bucket.

INEC has released a timetable for the polls; will they hold as scheduled?

INEC is owned, as are some security agencies. Their owners will give them teeth. All those clamouring for a re-ordering of the sequence of elections or free and fair polls are wasting valuable time. Yes, the elections will hold as INEC scheduled them.

How will the polls turn out, Wise One? Will Buhari win?

The polls will eventually be marked by fraud – seen and unseen. The card reader will be useless in many places but useful in other places. Mass discontent will set in, especially among the millennials who will be voting for the first time. I see only 16 APC governors emerging victorious. Actual results of the presidential election will indicate the APC candidate’s defeat, but INEC will respond with extensive cancellation of results. Expect a near-deadlock, and an exodus [movement of jarred people] from the north to the south and from the south to the north.  Election rerun will be ordered in many states, followed by threats of boycott as May 29 nears. Then, enter higher powers with a proposal for the formation of a “government of national unity” headed by a non-candidate in the polls.

Will it be accepted?

Go! Go, inquisitive one! Incompetence often begets despondency and then disaster. Tell your people to make a decision sooner than later. You don’t want to have a pyrrhic victory, do you? You keep having a close shave, and you keep deluding yourself that you are practising democracy. No! The generation that voted in 1964 won’t see democracy in Nigeria. Your country has wasted too much blood, and the blood of the innocents is crying for justice.

One last question, Wise One: Will this country ever be restructured?

It has been written: you must return to the constitution you had in 1964 before you can make appreciable progress. Selfish politicians won’t give you restructuring – they want to keep enjoying the perks of office even without working for them. That’s why your legislators gulp so much money, yet you do nothing beyond fighting in the media. Now the water has reached your neck; you either swim or you sink. Oil is the string that has held you together; sooner than later this string will snap.  Must I tell you that you don’t have a nation before you know it? But go! Your prayers are being looked into. A leader born in 1964 will someday emerge to put certain things right for the peoples of the area now known as Nigeria.

 Thus said the ORACLE!

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