Is it not a gross overestimation of one’s capabilities for one to purport to have single-handedly put another person into elective office?

Like it did not matter that the said elected official bagged the popular vote in a highly competitive race. That several hundreds of thousands of people cast their votes in their favour. And that they did not only spend time on the campaign trail, gunning for the seat but also had to jump over all manners of hoops strewn in their paths.

For one person to turn around and claim credit for the feat over-simplifies the challenge of running for elective office. Surely, even in our deeply ethnic-tinged political matrix, claiming to have installed one into office is such a fantastical assertion. It takes a lot more for a candidate to vie and successfully sail into office. Even more complicated for a cosmopolitan urban electorate. Ask the many hopefuls whose efforts have fallen short, despite having everything else going for them, just how tough the going can get. Unless the rest of us have been naively concluding out of ignorance about how the real world works. Or we have been believing too much in the principle of one-man-one-vote for equal representation of all. The general assumption has always been that getting elected to any seat is largely a function of garnering the majority of the votes cast.

Ordinarily, this should take vigorous campaigns that resonate with the masses and inspire them to support. Deep pockets to oil the stump and buy the support of anyone who cannot be convinced by a manifesto. Supple knees to appease owners of popular political parties to secure a ticket. And agility to ride on a wave of euphoria and many other factors.

However, with the latest claims, it appears that all this is just hot air. The ultimate key to who gets elected, it appears, happens to lie is in the hands of one individual lording it over a community. What we, the voters, have considered to be the power that we wield in our hands, deciding who gets elected might just be a hoax, an old wives’ tale.

Be as it may, what signal do such bizarre claims by the supposed owners of communities in this country send to the rest of us ordinary citizens who have always imagined that our votes count for something? Those of us who, during the electioneering season, shouted ourselves hoarse and ranted on social media about our preferred candidates and tackled anyone with a contrary opinion. Those of us who turned up at political rallies to be wooed by the candidates or carrying placards and chanting slogans in support. Those of us who were already queueing at the crack of dawn on voting day, enduring long waits to cast our votes in favour of a preferred candidate because we thought it meant something. And those of us who were so invested in the contest, after casting the vote, spent nail-biting hours waiting for an outcome.

Looks like all these efforts came to naught. We were mere marionettes in the hands of a show-master. Just clay held onto the potter’s wheel, getting formed into an already decided grand design. Apparently, by the time us ordinary mortals got to voting, treating it as a solemn civic duty, the decision on who would eventually carry the day was as good as already made in a meeting room, orchestrated by one individual. That it just required the acquiescence of one community, which of course relied on the almighty direction of the supreme leader. How heartbreaking.

So much for the so-called universal suffrage where each one of us has a say on who wins, through the popular vote. So much for the tonnes of effort invested in getting out the vote, and for those who heeded the call.

Hopefully, this does not get us into a hole of resistance. Will apathy and low turnouts at the ballot later become a concern when voters decide to stay away from voting, having been made to believe that ultimately it does not translate into much? Why not just let those who claim to have the supernatural powers to install officeholders continue to wield the said influence?