Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Since the emergence of democracy in 1999, general elections in Nigeria have been characterized by more of drama and less of logic. One could almost tell the candidates who would emerge as winners even before campaigns kicked off. In effect, Nigerians never truly had the say in who governed them at different levels.
The political players (both before and after democracy) make sure the majority lack two essentials they need to unbiasedly choose their leaders – education and food. When the majority of the electorate lack these two important necessities, the will of the ruling class will almost always stand.
This tradition however have changed this time. Though this is not because the masses now have these necessities, but because the political space is getting really saturated....So, it is the survival of the fittest. Be that as it may, it is of great benefit to Nigeria and her democracy.
The intense contest being witnessed between the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and the major opposition party presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari is a kind never witnessed before in the history of the nation. It makes it clear to the ruling class that the power truly belongs to the people. While the incumbent is afraid of losing, the opposition candidate is also constantly reminded of the need to not betray the trust of the people if he emerges victorious.
The essentials that this electioneering process however have in minimal quantity and quality are historical/political education and constructive/strategic analysis on the part of the electorate. The large chunk of the electorate are basing decisions either on anger caused by the failures of the incumbent or the fear of extremism by the opposition. In all, the good is, politicians cannot afford to outrightly take the people for granted again. Now, the people will choose.
…Now in 2023, the basis of election of leaders have become scientific. The electorate have gotten tired of promises. The process now compels a contestant to explain how he/she intends to achieve a specific goal, not what he/she intends to do.
Because the quality of education and exposure to educational materials and tools have increased, Nigerians are able to analyze the candidature of a contestant more objectively. It has also become difficult – even counter-productive – for politicians to bend historical information in their favour; especially after the prosecution of ADB in 2017 over their misleading documentary.
Even parties cannot present candidates without integrity, competence and excellent non-political track record of achievements to represent them, lest they lost automatically.
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