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In less than 24 hours, the 2023 presidential election will be upon us. The long-expected date, the 25th of February, would be a reality, and for the majority of Nigerians, it is expected to be an auspicious day. However, the bottom line is the fact that the die is finally cast. All talking points should translate into results. There’s no going back, we can only move forward. We move forward to make the most important decision of nation-building; electing a new CEO for our country, Nigeria.
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As Chinua Achebe said about Nigeria, “Popular faith in genuine democracy was compromised at its birth.” The journey so far has been a long and perilous one. Indeed, Nigeria and Nigerians have come a long way to where we are currently. It hasn’t just been long and perilous, but also bleak, as for too long, our collective hope was beginning to fade. It is important to note that life thrives off hope. Hope is a propeller, and without it, we can’t dream, we despair and we are pressed down by disillusionment. Equally, without hope, we replace belief and faith in the salvation of our great nation with fear and paranoia against the collective of Nigeria, all based on our experiences of the past.  Furthermore, our shared acts of ‘we against them’ dampened our faith and hope for a better Nigeria. Thus, we forgot that no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any Nigerian, as Aisha Yesufu famously says. However, our exploits during the #EndSARS protests throughout the federation proved how much we could do together. Hope for a better Nigeria was resurrected throughout October 2020. We understood that our problems stemmed from the weaponisation of our collective fears against one another. Our fears hindered us from acting as a unit against the agents of disunity in Nigeria; politicians. One thing remains constant in Nigeria, our politicians unite in corruption. This explains why for eight profligate years of the Buhari administration, the PDP played the worst opposition politics in history. It is simple. Apart from the fact that Nigerian politics lacks an ideological angle to it, these politicians are in bed together, and you can’t oppose who you are in bed with. Interestingly, we should be grateful for the year 2020, not just for the #EndSARS protests, which sadly ended badly, but because the elite in Nigeria famously exposed themselves, with no place to hide. From hoarding COVID-19 palliatives to #LekkiMassacre, and to the Twitter ban, amongst other things. The events of 2020 changed Nigeria’s political climate. It developed in us a more participatory political consciousness, as opposed to the armchair, beer parlour or newspaper stand style. The foundation for the death of political apathy was laid. Political apathy which has bedevilled Nigeria for years looks to be on its way out, with the emergence of Mr Peter Obi. And contrary to ill-held opinions, Mr Obi is not an opportunist. He didn’t just latch on to the momentum of the #EndSARS protests. Peter Obi lingered, and Nigerians called him out for slacking and leaving the scene to incompetent people. In his own words, “Nigeria has become a place where mad people have taken charge of the asylum.” Thus, Nigerians questioned his delay in announcing his candidacy.
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The people chose Obi because of his track record and sincerity. His words match his actions. A DISRUPTOR! He is not a Messiah, but the start of electing successive competent leaders. He is not an opportunist, and this is because the Labour Party was not a prize of gold for anyone to clasp onto. The resurrection and restructuring of the Labor Party were only possible because of his fulfilment of the people’s desires. I make bold to say that Labour Party or not, an Obi candidacy would still maintain this fervour because the people wanted him. Peter Obi is an idea whose time has come, but we must see the obvious and choose rightly at this critical point in Nigeria’s political history. Importantly, the Obidient movement transcends Obi; it is the people’s movement. Peter Obi is only a vessel or a vehicle through which we drive this movement. As Peter Obi always, “I am running for president through you.” Sadly, some analysts have referred to Nigerians as people with a short memory and Stockholm Syndrome. It is believed that we are easily swayed, thereby, tossing aside the crux of our situation, in pursuit of shadows. On the other hand, we have mastered the art of adjusting our threshold. However, we must build on the wins from 2020. We must not allow distractions from politicians to sway us from the prize ahead. Imperatively, we must remember all the wrongs of the establishment and not adjust to adapt to the abusive relationship between us and our politicians. Significantly, we have the choice of remembering our hurt and channelling our anger, not by rioting, but by enthroning a candidate that respects the rule of law or maintaining the political status quo, thereby mortgaging our future and those of future generations. Dear Nigerians, our salvation should not be an afterthought, but an initiative. Furthermore, for all our talking, over the past eight years, it is time to really show the effects of our dissatisfaction with the incompetence and corruption, and let the elite know that power belongs to the people.
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Again, we must remember that it is not enough to pray but also to watch. We have prayed for far too long and God has answered our prayers. All we need to do is see what’s before us. God has provided us with a willing man. Similarly, he has provided us with the wisdom to analyse beyond tribal and religious lines to recognise competence, capacity, and character. As the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo said, “We believe in the power of prayer. We all pray for a country that is peaceful and prosperous, but God allows us, by our voting, to show him whether we mean the prayers we pray or not. You cannot wish this country well and vote for someone you do not believe in.” Featured Image Source: The Africa Report
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This article was first published on 24th February 2023 and updated on March 9th, 2023 at 11:25 pm


I am a poet. I am a moderate thinker who abhors radicalism on every front and believes that most things are relative. I am a social and political critic. I love writing, reading and international politics.

Comments (4)

4 thoughts on “The Choices Before Us in the 2023 Presidential Election”

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