Towards the 2023 Electoral Question

Column | Towards the 2023 Electoral Quest(ion)!

By Abdulqadir M. Habeeb

Towards the 2023 Electoral Question

As the nation gears up towards next year’s general elections, political actors and citizens alike are preparing and hoping to elect and deliver the right candidate who is capable and able to deal with the nation’s exigencies of the moment at this period of global instability and economic uncertainty.

For the presidential elections, we have an array of formidable candidates that have come forward. We have Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Jagaban of borgu now christened as the ‘City Boy’ of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and also Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Wazirin Adamawa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Both candidates have extensive experience, contact, and network and have been strategizing and planning towards this moment of truth for a while.

Then we have the rave of the moment and ‘new kid’ on the block, the strong third force and mostly youth-backed candidate, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP). In the same vein, we also have Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and other candidates like Omoyele Sowore among others.

This particular election promises to be a contest of epic proportions for many reasons.

First, The first two frontline candidates are considered to be of the old order with both of their parties having stints in the highest office of the land with abysmal results to show sic. Both of them are well entrenched and have a laudable and large number of political associates that they can leverage and that would help them to galvanise support nationwide.

Secondly, due to the growing popularity of Peter Obi as an anti-establishment candidate even though in truth, he is no stranger to the political space, a former governor under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who then became an adviser under a PDP led federal government and then went on to become a vice presidential candidate under the same PDP.

His running mate up until earlier this year was poised to contest the PDP gubernatorial primaries in Kaduna State before his withdrawal. Needless to say though, come February, there are going to be a lot of protest votes from those who are tired of the status quo and some first-time voters among others going their way.

In the light of electioneering prowess, both PDP and APC are very much stacked and visible on the ground across the nooks and crannies of the country, they have also amassed lots of experience and know-how in the complex matter that is the act of electioneering. The Kwankwasiyya movement has a formidable loyal mass of followers whose votes would go to their principal, the NNPP Flag bearer.

The Obidients as they are fondly referred to, also on their merit have a mass appeal of determined members ready to walk the talk across the board.

While the security challenges and rising cost of living and high inflationary rate (even though not peculiar to Nigeria) have gotten a lot of voters disillusioned and open to the possibility and given them the urge to try a different option, as things stand, an upset that would deliver a winner outside of the two major political parties (APC and PDP) is unlikely, but if this momentum is sustained, a loud statement would be made and whoever wins the election has to understand, accommodate and deal with the heightened expectations from the electorates. Surely, the electoral landscape of the nation is altered for good and opened up for better competitiveness and raised the bar for quality conversations.

God bless the federal republic of Nigeria!!!

‘Posterity shall vindicate the just’

Abdulqadir M. Habeeb, A strategist, and IT Professional writes from Kaduna State, Nigeria. And can be reached via WhatsApp at 08160088421

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