Nigeria on the March Again...!

Nigeria Decides 2023

Nigeria on the march again…The die is cast and the battle line is drawn, the race has become fiercer as political gladiators jostle to occupy various political offices in the land. The general elections have become an obligatory political cycle repeated every four years to decide those to entrust the leadership and affairs of the country for another four years.

Of all the positions being vied for, the office of the President no doubt attracts the most attention from local and international communities for several reasons ranging from political, socio-economic, religious etc.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Nigerians will be going to the polls to elect a president. Right from 1959 to 2019 the sustained interest in who becomes the number one citizen of the most populous black nation on earth has never dwindled. Therefore, the 2023 general elections will not be an exception as we are currently seeing the attention it is attracting globally.

In the build-up to the annulled June 12, 1993, Presidential elections popularly acclaimed to have been won by the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, one of the famous and memorable jingles that kept the airwaves busy was

“Nigeria on the march again, on the march again,

Looking for Mr President, on the march again

MKO is our man ooo… “

It is with nostalgic feelings that I recall that beautiful campaign jingle that became a chorus on the lips of many. 30 years down the line, Nigerians are back on the march again looking for whom the cap fits as Mr President. As the world anxiously awaits the outcome of the February 25th Presidential election, electorates who have picked up their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) are in high spirits to cast their votes. The big question on the lips of many is who becomes the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

The political atmosphere is looking tense with the leading candidates from the different political parties traversing the length and breadth of the country finetuning their respective strategies with the hope of ultimately winning the election. It is important to remind all that politics like every other game will have just one winner at the end of the day.

More importantly, it is a game of numbers as enshrined in the 1999 constitution and re-echoed in the 2022 Electoral Act as amended. The candidate with the highest number of votes cast and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be returned elected as President.

Fellow compatriots, as we prepare to cast our votes for our respective preferred candidates at the poll, let us not forget that after the elections, we will still need a country to call our own. Therefore, let our actions and inactions be guided by the brotherhood we share as a people with one common destiny.

Permit me to say, that all the leading contenders for the office of the President are by right eminently qualified to lead this country, what may defer though is their various wealth of experiences which is what makes this particular election an interesting one to watch. The candidates in no particular order, Atiku Abubakar (People’s Democratic Party); Bola Ahmed Tinubu (All Progress Congress); Peter Obi (Labour Party); Omoyele Sowore (African Action Congress); Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (New Nigeria People’s Party); Dumebi Kachikwu (Africa Democratic Congress); Christopher Imumolen (Accord Party), etc. One thing is common among them all, the passion to serve and see Nigeria great again.

I, therefore, admonish the electorates across the country to critically scrutinize the manifestoes and programmes of each of the presidential candidates before deciding on the candidates to vote for. Primordial sentiments of ethnicity and religious considerations must not be used as a yardstick to elect the next president. Competence, character, capacity, and proven track record should be the guiding compass for taking a final decision on the best man for the job.

In the same vein, I urge all the presidential candidates to accept the outcome of the election once it is seen to be free, fair, and credible enough in the spirit of patriotism and true sportsmanship.

For those who understand the dynamics of modern-day politics, it is a game of numbers driven by innovative ideas to make an impact on society. Those who genuinely want to serve must preach peace and tolerance  at all times within the polity and not violence. Indeed, Nigeria on the march again.

As we all patiently await the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, my sincere wish is that the best man with the best ideas to move the country forward wins the election come February 25th, 2023. Let the march continue, as we count down.

John Kokome

A Communications Strategist & Public Affairs Analyst

writes from Lagos




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