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The significance of 2023 elections to Nigeria’s survival

The significance of 2023 elections to Nigeria’s survival
March 27
12:15 2022

Some Nigerians believe that the 2023 national elections should not hold until the fault lines of the Nigerian nation severely amplified by the style of leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari have been attended to and reasonably fixed.

One of Nigeria’s finest legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola was alleged to have expressed through a social media post recently that Nigeria will collapse if it conducts 2023 elections with the 1999 constitution. He was said to have proposed that the national assembly should adopt the 1963 constitution as a stop-gap measure towards the creation of a brand new constitution. By that position, the learned chief and chancellor of Afe Babalola University became one of the loudest advocates against holding the 2023 elections in the current milieu.

Dr Peter Obi was a notable champion in the tribe of Nigerians who felt there should be no election in 2023 unless Nigeria is first restructured. He spoke loudly and eloquently against the election until he saw how significant the 2023 election is in the destiny of Nigeria. Peter Obi did not only do a volte-face, he is now also one of the people seeking an opportunity to contest in the same election he had campaigned against.

The 2023 election is not an ordinary one. It is arguably the most significant election in the history of Nigeria. It is an election that can rescue Nigeria from the abyss. Also, it is an election that can become the undertaker of Nigeria’s ailing destiny. How Nigerians understand the significance of the election will be very crucial in addressing the many uncertainties and complexities that are the narrative of the most populous black nation on earth. It is very important, therefore, that Nigerians must deliberately and consciously approach the election with the utmost caution, deep understanding, patriotic zeal and abundance of maturity. What they do with the election will make or mar Nigeria forever.

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The 2023 national election assumed its monumental dimension because the president and the national assembly failed to heed the passionate cries of Nigerians for restructuring and squandered all the opportunities to steer the ship of the nation towards the coast of becoming a more perfect union. Through their failure to make the tough decisions that would have activated Nigeria to soar, President Muhammadu Buhari and the national assembly, unknowingly transferred the power to lay the foundation for Nigeria’s restructuring back to the Nigerian masses. 2023 is the conveyor belt that will move the nation to that bus park.

To restructure Nigeria is not as difficult as it has been made to appear by the government. The problem is that this current political class derives all they are and have from the current system and will go to any length to preserve it. The 2023’s elections afford Nigerians the opportunity to vote out every member of the current political club of Nigeria and replace them with people who are passionate about the country, patriotic in all their ways and willing to address the tough challenges of Nigeria. The onus is on the discerning Nigerian electorates to rise up for the nation – this time, far above sentiments, parochialism, party mentality, religious bigotry and ethnic jingoism that have been the reason why previous elections have not produced genuine nation builders.

Most of the advocates against 2023’s elections were motivated to campaign more aggressively against the election by Dr Peter Obi’s comparison of Nigeria to a vehicle that has broken down very badly and became vandalized on the road where it was abandoned. Now that Dr Peter Obi has seen the light and has done a 360 degrees turnaround to offer himself to Nigerians for employment through the upcoming elections (that’s if he scales the huddle of his part’s nomination) what will these disciples do?

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In describing Nigeria aptly the way he did, Dr Peter showed his mastery of the problem of Nigeria. What he got mixed-up like many other Nigerians was the solution: good old wisdom already created a way for dealing with broken down and vandalized vehicles.
When a vehicle is in this terrible state, what are the options one can take? The following options are the available possibilities:

  1. Get a few people together to push the vehicle to the mechanic workshop. This is possible if all the tyres are okay and the mechanic’s shop is not far away.
  2. Hire a towing van to tow the vehicle to the mechanic. This is possible if the rear two tyres are still intact and okay.
  3. If the four tyres are gone, then you must hire a towing truck that can haul the vehicle to the mechanic.

2023’s election is the only legitimate towing van, for now, that can tow broken down, pillaged and vandalized Nigeria to the mechanic. All other opportunities have come and gone unutilized or unsuccessful.

In towing a broken down vehicle to the workshop of a trusted mechanic who can do the job and bring the vehicle back to life, there are three very important actors that must drive the entire process. If every one of these actors does their work excellently, the outcome is always heartwarming and rewarding.

The first actor is the owner of the vehicle. The owners of Nigeria are Nigerians. Sadly, most Nigerians hate the country and refuse to take ownership of it. Many are bitter with God for making them Nigerians instead of Americans, Britons or Canadians. Many Nigerians refuse to take ownership of Nigeria because they think it is irredeemable. They resulted in folding their hands to sit down and look. They are so negative in their attitude that they are quick to discourage anyone that wants to take ownership of Nigeria around them. Others refuse to take ownership because they have citizenship of another country which they see as a ” better country”, hence they don’t care whether Nigeria survives or fails. Some Nigerians refuse to take ownership as a result of ignorance. They don’t know that nothing is built until there are people willing to build it.

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The second actor is the towing company. Once the owner hands the job over to the towing company, the assignment to get the vehicle to the vehicle becomes that of the towing company, the assigned driver and the equipment chosen to be used. The towing vehicle is the 2023 national election and the towing personnel are the Nigerian electorates who will vote in that election. As the towing truck and the personnel are very crucial in rescuing the vehicle and its owner out of public eyes and ridicule, the elections offer the electorates the unique opportunity to tow Nigeria away from where the plunderers abandoned her to the workshop of the professionals who know exactly what to do to fix her up.

The third actor is the mechanic. In a mechanic workshop, there is always someone in charge of the place, the tools and the personnel. Then there are other support staff who work with him or her to restore life to faulty/immobile vehicles brought for them to fix. The Nigerian electorates must use 2023’s election to hand over Nigeria to a president who knows what to do, and has what it takes to do the job that must be done well. That mechanic cannot be one of those who contributed to the vehicle’s engine getting knocked and vandalized in the first place.

The Nigerian electorates must purge themselves from sentiments as they approach the 2023 election. The situation in Nigeria has made it easy for Nigerians to know how to vote and how not to vote during the election. Those who have actively participated in the vandalization of Nigeria or have served in the supporters club of those who plundered Nigeria cannot be the mechanic who will fix the nation. Trying to give them another chance is a waste of time and life. We need a brand new team of professionals to fix Nigeria. We will not need to look too far to find them in the journey towards the 2023 posts. All we need is a break from a fixed mentality.

The 2023 national elections is a national call. A call that must be heeded with every sense of responsibility. The elections provide Nigerians on a platter of posterity the opportunity to hire one president, 109 senators, 360 members of the house of representatives, 36 governors and around 1,000 state lawmakers who are bold, brilliant, innovative, purposeful, hungry, driven and determined to save Nigeria and launch her into sustainable greatness. For every Nigerian who is 18 years and above, this may be the toughest call Nigeria will ever make to them. Reason must be allowed to prevail over sentiments in everyone’s resolve to obey the call. That’s the only way to begin the journey of Nigeria’s restructuring to move from the third world to the first world.

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Osho is a development architect and change strategist. He is the founder of Inspire Nigeria Initiative. He is a member of www.mygreatnigeria.org

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Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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