The 2023 general elections, especially the presidential poll, would go down in history as the most controversial election ever held when the story of the country’s electoral process would be told, now and in the future. It may also be the first time a presidential election in Nigeria would be seriously challenged at the Elections Tribunal, while the inauguration of the president-elect would hold as planned. The feelings of many Nigerians, locally and internationally is that, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), under the Chairmanship of Professor Mahmood Yakubu did not do a tidy job, owing to the irregularities that marred the conduct of the exercise. The dust raised three months after Nigerians went to the polls is yet to settle. The unfortunate development however is that, the country is today polarised along ethnic and religious lines. The mood of the nation at this time is not anything to cheer because people still feel short-changed as far as this year’s general elections are concerned and wish the right thing could be done, going forward. Looking at the happenings in Khartoum, Sudan, no one would wish Nigeria to go that way, but such situation of power struggle can only be averted when those angling for power understand that it mustn’t be a ”do or die” affair to govern a people. The eight-year tenure of president Muhammadu Buhari may have taught Nigerians some good lessons, whether in the areas of economy, security, infrastructural development, religion, ethnicity, health care and in fact, the general well-being of a people, so to say.
The incoming administration which would now rest on the shoulders of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has the onerous responsibility to address the short comings of the outgoing administration in the areas of infrastructural development, security, ethnicity and religious biases. As he takes over the mantle of leadership in less than 24 hours, we urge him to unite and govern the country like every other genuine democratic society in the world. Clearly, Nigerians expect a clean departure from what the country has been in the past eight years. The people want to see right from the outset that the incoming administration rekindles the hope of Nigerians that had been at its lowest ebb, owing to the maladministration that characterised the Buhari government. Efforts must be made to pull back the country from the brink of collapse that has long been speculated. We want to see that beyond the statutory ministerial appointments which all states merit, it is important this time to ensure that every zone in the federation is adequately represented in the distribution of key positions. The desperation often noticed by political hawks, who only work for themselves should be discouraged if this administration must make any meaningful impact in the life of the people. It is not how long a man is in office and how much he has accumulated that matter, but how committed he is in the discharge of his responsibility. Nigeria needs men and women who can fill the gaps and deliver on their promises. Everyone feels and knows the state of the nation after the conduct of the general elections. We therefore call for paradigm shift if we must make progress. We are sure that the incoming administration knows the challenges on ground and the expectations of the people. The cost of governance, the performance of political office holders, the dynamics of democratic governance, which is about the people, and the changing times are such variables that should not be ignored, not even at this time of our history. Nigerians need a leader and not a ruler!