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2023: Imagining What Nigeria Would Be Like When Wrong Leaders Are Voted For -By Isaac Asabor

There are a number of possible futures, all dependent on the candidate we chose to vote for ahead of the next political dispensation, and we cannot afford to sacrifice the opportunity on the altar of some few cups of rice and perhaps, N1000 on that day we would constitutionally be mandated to go to the polls. 

Based on the prevailing atmosphere of maladministration, fear, and economic quagmire that Nigerians have unprecedentedly been witnessing seven years down the line, one cannot be called a doomsday prophet, particularly when the question, “Where would Nigerians be in six months, a year, four years and at worst eight years from now?” is asked.  The foregoing crucial questions need to be answered because since the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) blew its whistle on September 28, 2022, for electioneering ahead of the 2023 presidential election to commence, I have always found myself lying awake at night wondering what the future holds for my loved ones, vulnerable friends, relatives, and entire Nigerians.

Since the electoral umpire blew the whistle for the campaign to commence in earnest, I have always been obsessed with the question, “Hope the next crop of leaders will not be the type that will resort to blaming their predecessors by resorting to telling Nigerians whose collective would be dashed through their media teams that their predecessors had unpatriotically and corruptively messed up the economy. After all, the ongoing APC-led government calumniated former President Goodluck Jonathan so much so that Instead of giving Nigerians the change they deserve, and which they were assuredly promised, they spent a whole lot of time during the first term in office giving excuses. They unashamedly blamed Jonathan for everything, so much that the heavy downpour that was witnessed by Nigerians in that year, which was 2015, was almost attributed to what they mischievously termed to be Jonathan’s “cluelessness”. In fact, virtually every blunder they made was blamed on Jonathan.  If there was a petrol shortage, they blamed it on Jonathan. If anyone was kidnapped, they blamed it on Jonathan.

They unarguably hid under the excuses that Jonathan did not perform to ostensibly renege virtually all the electoral promises they made ahead of the 2015 presidential election, which cut across free education; free meals daily for millions of Nigerian public school children; free tertiary education; free health care and free houses. At the moment, after almost eight years in power, they are still myopically seeing Jonathan’s performance as the reason why they could not fulfill the campaign promises they made as far back as in 2014 and 2015. They have failed to completely deliver on any of the highfalutin promises they made, but continue to blame former Goodluck Jonathan and other politicians that held sway in that political dispensation. Who is to be blamed when the issue is viewed from a proverbial perspective given the proverbial fact that a bad workman blames his tools?

Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient at this juncture for anyone to swing his hand around his head, and pray, “God forbid, may affliction never come for the second time”, and match the prayer by voting for credible candidates during the upcoming 2023 general elections without exhibiting any element of primordial sentiments that cut across party and religious affiliations as well as tribal affiliation. Without mincing words, it is enough in this piece to opine that we have suffered enough at the hands of our political leaders. This is the time for us to determine to vote them out from political offices come 2023, and vote those we would deem fit to govern the nation aright. We cannot afford to elect another crop of leaders that has the predilection of passing the buck without accepting responsibility for their crass failures.

I must confess that I am afraid of the electorates ushering weak and clueless political leaders to strategic political offices that have direct or remote bearings on the destinies of the people. Once again even as I keep wondering about what will happen to my job, even though I’m somewhat luckier than many to be a struggling-to-survive Journalist wherein I hardly get paid on monthly basis as at when due as a result of the economic quagmire which the ongoing government has plunged my employer into, and worse still companies in other sectors where I would have deployed my communication skills to are equally struggling to survive as a result of the same economic reason that is been exacerbated by weak and inept leaders across all tiers of government.

There are a number of possible futures, all dependent on the candidate we chose to vote for ahead of the next political dispensation, and we cannot afford to sacrifice the opportunity on the altar of some few cups of rice and perhaps, N1000 on that day we would constitutionally be mandated to go to the polls. 

Hopefully, I am optimistic that with a crop of patriotic and incorruptible leaders being dispassionately chosen at the polls come 2023 that there would be a huge opportunity to rebuild and engender a better and people-centered government at all tiers. But we may slide into something worse if we literarily cave into the trap of religious, partisan, and tribal sentiments.  Against the foregoing backdrop, it becomes expedient for us to vote for credible and strong candidates, come February 2023 when the general election is billed to hold.  I think the sufferings we have been passing through for more than seven years down the line are excruciating enough for us to understand our situation, and what might lie in our future, by wisely supporting candidates we conscientiously think will be good leaders when voted to political offices. 

Be that as it may, it suffices to say that as we keep hailing and marketing the candidates, particularly the presidential candidates among them that we should not forget Sunday Adelaja’s quotable quote that says, “Your destiny lies in your hands and can be molded with each passing day by the choices you make.”

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