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Do Not Slide Into Post Election Depression

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
It had only been a few days since the elections, and Opeyemi had taken it upon herself to torture Lakunle, her husband of 15 years, by incessantly playing Timaya's catchy tune. The lyrics seemed to reflect their mixed emotions:
“As e dey sweet us, e dey pain dem
As e dey pain dem, omo, e dey sweet us
As e dey sweet us, e dey pain dem
As e dey pain dem, omo, e dey sweet us
As e dey sweet us, e dey pain dem
As e dey pain dem, omo, e dey sweet us
As e dey sweet us, e dey pain dem
As e dey pain dem, omo, e dey sweet us”

Lakunle, a firm believer in prophecies, tried to counter the gloom by singing Solomon Lange's "New Nigeria" – a song that urged citizens to hope and work tirelessly for a better future:

"I see a new Nigeria, I see a new Nigeria, I see a new Nigeria,
coming forth from the hands of the Lord."

Ah, elections, those exciting moments of hope, anticipation, and fervent belief in a brighter tomorrow. But, alas, when reality doesn't align with expectations, a dark cloud known as "Post Election Depression" (PED) looms overhead.

Behold the Prophecy of Change:
Nigeria, like other countries, has witnessed intense political campaigns that promise change, progress, and transformation. These campaigns stir up a collective belief in a utopian future. Citizens invest their hopes, dreams, and even their identities into the anticipated outcome, fueling excitement and high expectations.

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The Harsh Reality Check:

However, history has proven time and again that election results don't always match these grand promises. The hopes and dreams tied to a specific candidate or party can crumble when the prophecy of change fails to materialize as expected. This clash between belief and reality triggers various emotional and psychological responses, leading to PED.

Any therapists out there with coping strategies?

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In times of despair, many seek solace in the power of social reinforcement. Citizens flock to like-minded individuals, social media echo chambers, or support networks to commiserate, vent their disappointments, and find validation. While this communal reinforcement might temporarily ease the pain, it hinders the crucial process of acceptance and moving forward.

But here's a nugget of truth: seeking a balanced perspective can help navigate the tumultuous aftermath of shattered expectations. Engaging in open dialogue, fostering empathy, and embracing a diverse range of voices can contribute to collective healing and national unity.

As for prophecies they may fail. But hope, faith and love abides.

One love Nigeria !

NB: Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance, as explored in "When Prophecy Fails," provides valuable insights into the psychological processes at play during Post Election Depression.


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