Despite the flaws that trailed the just concluded elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which is being challenged by aggrieved political parties in the law courts, one thing is clear, which is; Nigerians tried their utmost best to make a change, and to elect leaders of their choice, even in the face of intimidations and harassments that characterised the exercise. The good news is that the awareness and attention the election generated locally and internationally may have changed the political landscape of the country, going forward. Prior to this time, Nigerian political parties were not driven by ideologies, but with the participation of new political parties and the entrants of new members at both the lower and upper Chambers of the legislative Assembly, the society interestingly, may witness some semblance of democratic governance hitherto not in existence in the last eight years, if not more. Nigerians this time expect the 10th National Assembly to use the instrumentality of the law to solve the lingering problems in the society. With about seven different political parties now having representations in the National Assembly, certainly it’s not going to be business as usual.
The 9th Assembly was popularly referred to as rubber stamp Assembly which they never controverted, owing to their failure to checkmate, or even challenge bad policies that emanated from the Executive, for the simple reason that they all belonged to the ruling party which had the majority; where opposition unfortunately, was completely shut out from the scheme of things. We also saw in the same Assembly where the only business of some of the lawmakers was to sit and snore, and collect fat salaries and allowances at the end of the month, without moving any motion beneficial to their constituents or the country at large throughout the period. That some of these lawmakers did not make it to the 10th Assembly is a pointer to those now elected that they can also be voted out at the end of four years, if the people and the society fail to experience meaningful change. The pattern of voting this time truly showed that the people have become more conscious of their society and are not ready any longer to condone the excesses of those politicians who really do not have anything good to offer the society. The just concluded elections showed that the real power resides with the people.
This power should be used at all times and freely during elections, if we must truly build a nation and see the country as one. Those who also nurse the ambition to represent their people should equally begin now to plan towards presenting themselves by 2027. People should be able to know and understand those who want to represent them. This is so because, proper preparation prevents poor performance. As it stands, gate crashing into any political party and grabbing the party’s tickets may no longer appeal to the people going by what transpired in the last election. However, now that the elections have come and gone, and people left disappointed, we call for thorough audit and investigation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in view of the grievances expressed by the people and imperfection noticeable during the exercise. This is to forestall a repeat of what happened, and also to avoid putting the country to shame, since we all have a duty to build this nation.