Tissues, Issues of 2023 Elections
_Are we engaging with the issues of 2022 elections or expecting them to deal with themselves?_
*Tissues, Issues of 2023 Elections*
By Ikeddy Isiguzor – A Major Commentator on Minor Issues
THE latest fuddle about the 2023 elections is if they will hold. Nobody should deceive you – elections are big business in which we have made massive investments.
Our enormous investments are enough reasons for the elections to hold. Governments have invested. Politicians do not mind the shame that most of them have brought to the country as they bump through dusty roads to campaign for more time on the staddle, or as the elixir to our challenges.
Some of the messages wallow in the pronounced simplicity that borrow from their learned sophistication of nothingness. Vote me and all will be well, they bellow. They are angry that we dare question them.
Elections are big, seasonal businesses that those who depend on the value chains for sustenance would not allow to fail. They can borrow more to fund the elections.
A few issues, away from the tissues -How will the next President pay the huge debts that the out-going government has piled? The same question should bother us with our Governors.
Will Nigeria be better or worse? Can farmers return to their business without fear of attacks? Will it be safe even at home or on the roads?
Our hunger, dwelling on anger, feed our decisions. President Muhammed Buhari seems to have realised that he has done enough damage. He has shown his face only at few of his party’s campaigns.
Is that adequate atonement for the setbacks that Nigeria has suffered in his almost eight years of directionless policies? Where are we heading?
When Nigerians want issues, their common neglect by governments, and possible remedies to be discussed, they are thrown into debates about if the elections would hold.
What is our government doing if it cannot organise elections? Where are the results of the attention that insecurity has received through high budgets and higher flaunted speeches as Nigerians are killed daily, in different parts of the country, kidnapped, violated, and denied stability in their lives?
As the Naira keeps losing value, the national interest is in the drab of the new notes. Sometimes the interests dangle to if the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria would be arrested over something only the arresting authorities understand.
There is no time to confront the politicians with their failure. We are faced with advising government about what to do to improve security. Among the certainties that have been established is that something is bound to crush the Nigerian. If insecurity does not, economic burdens on several fronts could dump the Nigerian in perpetual dread of his present and future.
What is the future without any guarantees of the activities that could sustain life? Will eight years of near hell experiences be replaced with more horrors? Are Nigerians willing to make the changes that would count? There is too much to worry about that the issues of the elections are becoming more tissues.
Candidates are still judged by what they say and who they are. Character is secondary to their actions. After campaigns that have run into months they resort to subterfuge to dodge the issues. Their callousness, insulting treatment of Nigerians are rated in some quarters as political sagacity.
They are also the ones suggesting that instead of an election an Interim Government should be better, a blunt proposal that would guarantee further retardation of Nigeria’s political growth, and general development. Either way the politician benefits in some way.
Escalation of the security threats heighten fears among Nigerians about their safety and is capable of doing more damage to the elections. Less voters could turn up.
Armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals are taking advantage of the situations to prosper. Would anyone discuss the tardy distribution of PVCs with government’s selective and ineffective management of security?
Crimes are profiled according to the regions. One crime is called terrorism in one part. The same crime is banditry in another part. Arrests and prosecution of criminals follow the same patterns. Some are rehabilitated, others are gunned down before the nature of their crimes are known.
The main issue outside the economy is the different, unfair standards with which Nigeria runs. Ethnicity and religion are more important than our citizenship. Justice, injustice, rights, and wrongs of out citizenship flow from ethnicity and religion more than the law.
There is abundance of excuses for treating the terrorists who have been waging war against Nigeria for more than 14 years as if they are national heroes. If they are captured, they are rehabilitated, and handed over to authorities in their States for integration into society.
No absurdity is found in the lives of the officers and other ranks of our security agencies these terrorists killed. For a long time, the lives of civilians have not counted.
At campaigns, candidates appear more interested in not offending these criminals; their eyes are only on winning. They cannot put their feet down on what they would do in office.
The issues are clear – the economy, security, rights of Nigerians as citizen. The candidates should tell us more about these.
Security, until the next government, is the sole responsibility of President Buhari. Whoever he decides to farm out whichever roles to is also his responsibility. An immediate responsibility in this regard is that he ensures credible, transparent, and peaceful elections.
Concerns have risen about his consistent complaints that he is tired and wants to put Abuja behind him. He has not done much lately, not that he did a lot at any point in his two terms. He cannot afford to be disinterested in his final opportunity to be remembered for something, hopefully good.
IN nine days, 31 January 2023, the old Naira notes would cease to be legal tender, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. What is going on is not as important as the fact that enough of the new notes do not seem to be on circulation.
THE countdown to the elections are now in days. Have you made your choice? What informed the choice? I assumed you are a registered voter and determined to vote. In that case, you must have collected your PVC, not minding the obstacles they place on your way.