Elections in Nigeria over the years are always more of a do or die affair as the political elites are always not disposed to any reality of not winning in an election which they are known to be interested in. This remains one of the reasons why election in Nigeria is outrightly expensive and this is one of the reasons why the elections in Nigeria are always marred with all sorts of violence.
Overtime, the beauty of democracy is that elected leaders are known to have well specified tenures which upon its completion is made to be renewed at the polls solely by the mandate of the people. Elections are very instrumental in the renewal of these mandates and that remains one of the reasons, why we must be deliberate about reviewing our electoral processes to make sure that the outcomes are a true reflection of the wishes of the masses which in turn makes it worthy of the trust of the masses.
However, the 2023 election in Nigeria has posed to be one of the most strategically engaging elections to be conducted in Nigeria in recent times as this is coming on the heels of the many years of dilapidation of the nation on all critical facets as a result of poor leadership by elected officials.
This is the reason why the masses are so charged as they file out on the 25th of February 2023 to elect their President. While it is well known to majority of Nigerians that the 2023 elections are not only for Presidential elections, it is clear that the presence of the former Governor of Anambra State as one of the prime contenders for the position of the President has recalibrated what the build up to our election day has come to be known for.
There are reasons why young people of our mold believe that no matter how you are able to access political power in a third world country like Nigeria, always make sure that you do all you can to render services to the masses at all cost. The things you were able to achieve in your previous office would someday be used to judge you when you aspire for a higher office. The inability of the All-Progressive Congress to fulfill their campaign promises to the Nigerian people is one of the many reasons the name of the party seems to be an anathema that should not be mentioned among objective citizens of the nation. The poor performance of the ruling party has reached an all time high
lately such that the masses now changed the All-Progressive Congress acronym to mean “All Promises Cancelled”.
The Nigerian ruling party led by President Muhammadu Buhari for all the warts around the name of their party, seems to be committed to organizing a free and fair election for the Nigerian people where whatever choice the masses make at the ballot would reflect the true wish of the people. The importance of a free and fair election cannot be over emphasized in a democracy as this is the only way that the masses can choose a leader whom they believe would fix the many flaws of an outgoing government and thereby put the nation on an intentional path of growth just as the Zambian people were able to do with Hakainde Hichelema.
The fact that a ruling party whom I cannot effectively say has fared well decides to conduct a supposed free and fair election which produced Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a man whose health is in serious jeopardy as its candidate tells you what matters to this political party at a critical time when the Nigerian people are in dire need of a leader who can help the nation heal.
The PDP on their own after a seemingly successful deliberation jettisoned their earlier arrangement of zoning of the Presidential candidacy ticket to the South East simply because a Mr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike from the South - South who had crowned himself a winner of that primaries even before the primaries was conducted objected that on no account should the Presidency be ceded to only the South East. This division and tactless push of personal interest is the major reason why the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar faction of the PDP and the Nyesom Wike faction are at dagger’s drawn against each other, not yet reaching a truce.
This ugly development in the PDP is one of the major reasons the present Labour Party candidate found himself uncomfortable in his then party such that he had to move elsewhere to fulfil his ambition of selling the message of hope to Nigerians which is hoped to enable him through an overwhelming vote from the masses gain access to the Asorock in the forthcoming election. All these are the beauties of democracy.
The 2023 general elections by every standard seems to have the chance of ushering the Nigerian people into a vista of progress and a form of societal advancement developmentally, if the masses are able to actively defy every odd that may want to stand in their way of effectively choosing a leader who would give leadership in Nigeria a humane and exceedingly competent face. In
a situation where the masses are not informed enough to make use of this opportunity effectively to elect a man who understands that he owes the Nigerian people a duty to serve, then we may just get ready for an eight (8) years of trauma and economic retrogression occasioned by poor leadership and terrible government policies as we have been used to over these years.
Therefore, the Nigeria government at the moment ably led by President Muhammadu Buhari must be seen to be committed to drive the process of delivering a seemingly flawless election to the Nigerian people, which every keen observer of such elections should attest to its quality at the end of the election. This is the only way to assist the Nigerian people make a choice that would set them on the path of growth.
For a nation with myriads of challenges like Nigeria to thrive, we must be deliberate about the electoral process and fine tuning its operationality so as to give the Nigerian people a free and fair election up to the degree that is permissible within the context of electoral engagement as it is permissible globally.
Therefore the 2023 general elections would be a defining time for Nigeria to know if the citizens are willing to make a firm commitment through their turn out to vote, all with the aim of making a firm commitment to having a nation that works for all Nigerians. We must be seen to be supporting the electioneering process with the ultimate aim of having outcomes that reflect the will of the people. Just as many scholars have consistently said, the day Nigeria wakes up in Africa to take charge as the giant of Africa, that would be the only time Africa as a continent would assume its true place in the scheme of things on the globe.
This election has far reaching implications on Nigeria and the continent of Africa. This also would be the very first time the country would be having a massive youthful voters turn out for an election to lend their voices towards electing a worthy leader who would stir the nation on the path of progress. The rhetoric question here remains, would the political class and the electoral umpire allow the votes of the masses to count in this election?

Okeh Onyekachi
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