Using Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence as a case study; the local government elections that took place on July 24, 2021, has come and gone. Winners too, have emerged, but one key thing we must not shy away from, is that, the usual crowd that characterizes local government elections in the past was not the case this time, for reasons that are obvious to every Tom, Dick and Harry in our society today, which is; bad governance. The situation was not different from the neighbouring Ogun state, according to reports also monitored on television, and so indications are that, the trend may continue in other parts of the country, sooner than later. We saw on National television also where the Electoral Officers, including the police and other security agents posted to polling booths, waited endlessly for voters to arrive without the usual, push me and I push you scenario, by those who want to queue up to perform their civic duty. This development was equally confirmed by the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who said on the mass media again, that, Lagosians, indeed, Nigerians need more awareness and publicity campaigns on the importance of local government elections, which he described as the closest government to the people.
The low turnout of voters on the Election Day, when they were expected to perform their civic duty by voting for candidates of their choice however, was not unconnected with the air of uncertainty that pervades the society today. People at various quarters have argued that since the emergence of this present administration in 2015, that the Nigerian state has not heaved a sigh of relief, but instead go through one ugly experience, after the other, given the tales of woes, almost everywhere. Besides the problems of insecurity in the country which has become one of the major issues, and daily one for that matter, many Nigerian homes today, unfortunately are grappling with the challenge of hunger and deprivation also, without any concrete steps taken by government to ameliorate the sufferings of the people. The situation is such that; everybody is on his own, except God that is for us all.
While we look forward to the general elections of 2023, standing down the electoral bill by the National Assembly, which was designed to revolutionize the pattern of voting, and result transmission by the Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC), in many ways have confirmed the suspicion of the people, and in fact, put a very big question mark; if at all, the much touted 2023 elections would be credible. The regrettable thing is that the country has continued on its vicious cycle of making bad choices on matters of national and urgent concern to the Nigerian people, regrettably. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), many times have confirmed their readiness to conduct and transmit credible elections results for Nigerians and the whole world to see, but recently, we see other government agencies interfering in INEC jobs, and also raising suspicions what the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is up to, and would do in the general elections of 2023. However, the pendulum swings, we call on the government to use the just concluded local government elections as a yardstick to measure how people would react to future elections, before pushing further its luck on the impending 2023 elections, which is still blowing in the wind!