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OPINION…2023: The need for a third force



The presidential poll in Nigeria is gathering momentum. It is scheduled to hold early next year in the month of February all things being equal. Barring any unforeseen circumstances because of the generalized galloping insecurity, killings and kidnappings going on around the country. Besides, when you add increasing poverty level, lethargy of governance at the centre and COVID-19 and the Russia/Ukraine war then the possibility exists that the poll could be marred. But we all want it to happen if only to say a thunderous enthusiastic ‘goodbye’ to Buharism!

Of course, the President is better off marooned by his cows in Daura than making life unbearable for majority of Nigerians. As he goes we would remember him more for his gross incompetence, aloofness and medical trips abroad. He would be forgotten in a hurry with the emergence of a President of our dreams come May next year.

Now, with the underwhelming incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, constitutionally out of the race, having completed his second disastrous mandate, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are known to be the established political parties implanted across the lenght and breadth of the federation.

The PDP, angling desperately to succeed the APC at the centre, had been in power for sixteen unbroken years prior to the epochal emergence of the APC in 2015. For the past seven years the APC had almost run Nigeria aground achieving little and delivering infinitesimal democracy dividends to our struggling populace.

In the APC there are few heavyweights vying for representation of the broom at the polls. Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the former Lagos state Governor and irrepressible godfather, and the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, are set to do battle. At the end of the contest nothing would remain the same. If the gloried ‘godson’ wins there would definitely be some political backlash and consequences. If the godfather wins then the diminutive VP could be sidelined for good.

In the PDP the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, a perennial presidential gunner, is set to lock horns with the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal and Rivers State Governor, Nyseom Wike among others.

As 2023 approaches, pregnant as it were with uncertainties and fears associated with the chaos and anarchy in the system, professional politicians are already flexing their muscles declaring their presidential intentions or ambitions. When it comes to power then Nigerian politicians are quick to express their willingness and readiness for ‘competition’ even in a prevailing atmosphere of bloodshed and carnage.

Scores of politicians and technocrats had openly declared their candidacy for the topmost job in Aso Rock. And others are still ‘consulting’ or brainstorming on their chances. Succeeding Buhari presents a good opportunity for one to excel politically given the failures in the system. Anyone, prepared or unprepared, would definitely beat Buhari on the job he has messed up.

Comrade Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC) has since thrown his radical ‘revolutionary’ hat into the ring. He remains a dark horse capable of upsetting the apple-cart. Kingsley Moghalu is another great man with potentials in the race.

Comrade Sowore, given his celebrated antecedents, would bring a lot to the competition in terms of change and glorious narratives. We believe he cannot afford to disappoint Nigerians in the event of his ‘enthronement’ as President!

The controversial SaharaReporters publisher had made it clear that upon his ascendancy he would govern without fear or favour. He had promised to run corruption and those enriching themselves through its endurance out of town. He had vowed to retire the corrupt Generals profiting criminally from the organized terrorism up north.

Whatever he had promised we believe he is capable of delivering if he is given the mandate to deliver Nigerians from the decades of misgovernance and organized looting of the treasury. We all know why the corrupt elite are mortally afraid of him and what he could do upon taking up residence inside the Villa.

READ ALSO: 2023: Afenifere renews support for South-East’s presidential bid

As the 2023 general election cycle dawns on us yet again (in deference to the democratic tradition) vigilance must be our daily companion. Yes, we must be vigilant before, during and after the polls. We must, as they say in local parlance, ‘shine our eyes’!

Vigilance is called for before the polls in order for us to properly scrutinize the credentials and programmes of candidates. Again, during the polls in order to forestall any hanky-panky game by politicians and their agents. And after the polls so that the real winner would be announced and not the loser emerging as the ‘winner’.

We must avoid electing another executive ‘invalid’ to lead us as we did mistakenly in both 2015 and 2019. The incumbent President, without mincing words, has proven his capacity for incompetence and regional and religious politics. Under his below-average performance, seven years down the line, Nigeria has witnessed unprecedented division, regional and religious favouritism and criminal disdain for the welfare and security of Nigerians.

We are neither for the ruling APC party nor the opposition PDP. We are, rather, for a third force, a brilliant young mind capable of turning Nigeria around in God speed, making the emaciated giant of Africa work for Nigerians.

United and determined we can get it right!

AUTHOR: Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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