The CONVERSATION:  2023, ON THE MARCH AGAIN

The CONVERSATION:  2023, ON THE MARCH AGAIN

Prior to the annulled 1993 Presidential Election adjudged the fairest in the history of Nigeria by Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion but for the ‘Maradona’ in power with his co-hurts that deliberately annulled the election, threw the country into pandemonium. His decision brought an abrupt end to his regime and paved the way for another despot, no doubt later fast tracked our return to democracy. I can’t forget to pay tribute to hundreds of comrades that sustained the agitation of return to democratic rule. Of note, were the student leaders suspended, expelled and detained in the course of calling an end to Military rule. We were all part of the struggle then as a student leader.

Since our return to democratic rules, the country has unfortunately not known peace as those that eventually lead don’t seem to understand the evolution of a society, as this has created a high imbalance within the polity. This is visible in the lack of basic amenities and the over dependence of the crude oil economy.

The oil sector is being highly mismanaged as even the region that lays the golden egg can’t boast of ultra-modern infrastructure. What we have is a continuous mismanagement of public funds at the expense of the host communities. 

We are on the march again, looking for Mr. President, who will lead us right at this century. There have been several attacks on INEC facilities across the country; the main political gladiators are traversing the length and breadth of the country.

The big question is who is fit to lead us now. Who among them really understands what ordinary man is passing through economically and security wise? Do we expect better deals from Peter Obi based on his projections, or from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar based on his antecedents as the former vice-president or Bola Ahmed Tinubu based on his past democratic credentials and experience?

Really looking at the major three, one that was on the street with us agitating for return to democratic rule before going on exile is Tinubu, but the big question remains, does he still have that character of fairness and justice?

On this march, we need to go beyond regional and religious sentiments by voting in who will stand with us, review our aged-dead constitution despite all odds, and re-negotiate our peaceful co-existence for a more united country, who will concentrate in delivering his manifestoes to us. Our economy must be restored, not only on paper but also on the streets and our homes.

I doffed my hats for our compatriots who have spoken up on the need for a united Nigeria as we approach the general elections. I salute the vocal speakers, and opinion writers that have lent their voices to this effect, even though there is a need to praise President Buhari for warning foreign diplomats to allow us to be, but we are the one running to them for everything, we should also learn to do things right without the West and China. The big question is, are we doing enough to ensure that the message gets to the appropriate quarters? Are we also monitoring the political gladiators from not acting otherwise? We need to go beyond declaration of free and fair elections rather ensure we work it out.

The election umpire should ensure our votes really count; we are on a time bomb that must not explode again. Bad history of 1993 should not repeat but the best election of 1993 should be replicated. All hands must be on deck to serve as a check as we approach the much discussed Presidential election. This March should not truncate the democratic rule, it must not heat the system, there should be no scapegoat as nowhere can contain us in case of an explosion. All players must play by the rules of the game and prioritize the entity called Nigeria. The country has done so much for the political gladiators, now we expect much from them which is to keep to the rules.  

Our conversation should be how to ensure peaceful transition through a fair and just democratic process; we need to learn how to solve our issues ourselves. The few days remaining will avail us of the nature of March Nigerians expect. Just stay glued to this page.


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