2023 election: Short message to INEC, candidates and the electorate

By Kaanti Ernen

The much respected electoral umpire of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), honourable candidates who represent various political parties, come 2023, my dear electorate.

Permit me to start this message which l consider to be very important and well timed by simply saying that the fast approaching 2023 general elections is not an occasion or time for apathy but time for action. The transitional elections should be seen as time for national rebirth and a time to do what we are supposed to do.

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It is not a yet another season of planting naggings, complaints, insecurity, unemployment,  decaying educational system, dwindling economy, nose diving currency,  sectionalism and broad impunity and mediocrity.

My dear electorate, like Maya Angelou,  an American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist once said, what you are supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is to change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.

Fortunately,  unfortunately,  in our Nigerian case, we may have been triying to change the way we think about the Nigerian problem, but the way things are going, that practice is like sitting on a keg of explosive powder that by the time it explode the story would rather be told by others.

Circumstances  or let us say providence, has given us  certain individuals with different characters as leaders in this country. Some are good, some bad, some are cold while some are warm. We also have hot ones and some are even shapeless and tastless. But like Randy Pausch once advised, we cannot change the cards we are dealt, is just how we play the hand.

I also find what Paulo Coelho said very useful. He said “accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”

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 As electorates, staging protest against bad governance when our very own brothers and sisters would pump bullets inside as ordered by our own people who come during elections, rub us of our votes after which they would unashamedly abandone us to be cannibalising on ourselves as a result of hunger is too much collateral for democracy. This is the time to avoid that.

As the elections are around the corner, it will be more reseanable for us to take much lessons from the past. Let us count on people with good history; history that is progress-friendly, history that is corruption-free, history that is not soaked in blood of vulnerable and frigile species like children and women as well as history that is hunger-free. We must look out for candidates who will not be in a hurry to exchange integrity for self and immediate family gains.

That was for electorates, let me say fast that, INEC as the presiding body, as a matter of importance,  should kick compromise behind as usual,  and allow the voices of Nigerians/electorates, who are already and justifiably feeling disinherited be heard through their votes.

Let the electorates decide where they want to be in the next four to eight years and how to live where they want to be. If they (electorates) agree to disagree, let their votes speak for them. For if we learn to build on the foundations of injustice andhalf truth, a day will come when we will loose sleep the the structures will be pulled down by the wind of anathema. 

The contestants, you are honourable people, chosen by your individual political parties because you were found worthy in character and integrity but mind you tha political party’s choice may not be the masses’ choice. While l wish you all the best of luck in this august political outing, it is vital to also advise that in as much as you have good intensions, in a true democracy, choice and the power to choose a leader belong to the people. Wishes they say are not horses.

Let us try and jettison the retrogressive idea of vote buying, turning to aggression and causing damage during and after elections destroying human and material resources which are already scarce. We can build on the little that we have but not to destroy.

Unnecessary litigations after elections might be more democratically,  economically and socially expensive than cooperation, unless when democracy which we cherish so much is apparently scuttled or subverted beyond doubt.

God in his infinite wisdom destined us to be Nigerians and we should build our country where we can proudly call our home. Also integrity they say is man’s immediate jewellery. We have seen the 20th century past us by. Are we bent on seeing 21th century also pass us by? God forbid.

Kaanti Ernen hails from Logo LGA in Benue State. He holds diploma in mass communication at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo. He also holds Bachelors Degree in Arts in mass communication from the prestigious University of Nigrria Nsukka. He is a prolific writer of opinion articles, fiction and nonfiction books. He is the author of ‘Sour Taste in Neighbourhood’ — fiction and core  author of ‘Benue Our Pride’ — non-fiction. (Presently in Press). He can be reached via: [email protected]

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