With political tensions on the rise lately, it is no longer news that the 2023 general elections are around the corner even with political gladiators getting ready for the ‘big’ game as usual. While the coast is clearer the terrain doesn’t seem to assume much of unfamiliar episodes than what we are used to based on familiar landscapes. With more of political realities unfolding each passing day, we are fast being engrossed in what we should, most likely, look forward to seeing in the very near future, should Christ tarries. Whether we should be expecting a tougher atmosphere this time, or rather one with all sense of responsibilities on everyone’s part would be playing out, is a question still hanging in the balance, and may require some patience in watching, most especially as events keep unfolding before our very eyes.
Beginning with correcting the Godforsaking attitude of our dear so-called politicians, to our apathetic perception to politics in its entirety, should, at least, begin to attract the attention of our beloved Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a way of ensuring, once again, a free, fair as well as credible plus uninterrupted electoral process. Up till now, there have been speculations from different quarters as to who and who is willing or not willing to run even while some are not willing to state their intentions yet for fear of being maligned by one enemy or the other, most especially, from the opposition camp where everyone is presumed to be a capable, potential enemy.
As we cannot ascertain which political party or candidate means well for the masses except through manifestos which are clearly stated by each registered political party competing with others. Apparently, our clear preference of a multi-party system to a one or two-party system is quite evident in the way we have played to the gallery over some twentythree years ago, since the very genesis of this dispensation, in 1999, following a successful transition from military to civil rule. Most recently, we have witnessed quite a few of this drama unfold, with the most recent happening among those who could be described as political titans and warlords whose strong ties have lasted decades almost without prejudice.
Alas! Things are beginning to fall apart with the centre gradually losing its capacity to retain the so-called “common interest.” How are the ‘mighty’ falling! In a moment, by mid-year, the political sphere would have gathered more practical momentum than what we are experiencing at the moment – security details would have doubled what is currently obtainable courtesy of politicians seeking one public office or the other – at least, to keep both assumed and supposed enemy, at far-reaching ends. Hmm, what about the “actions and reactions” candidates are well known for?
It is high time our beloved politicians had a rethink on resorting to violence to win elections – a feat that could be achieved through pure political means, by just engaging quite sound, convincing as well as charismatic ideologies on the crests of vibrant rostrum. Does it really matter whether we are a one-party, two or multi-party system to practice viable and enduring democracy, where everyone feels secured and protected, regardless of race or political affiliations, or some kind of interest group, for a certainty? Of course not. Generally, we are shaped politically or otherwise through the view we hold.
This is quite obvious in our general attitude to political issues of the day, which has affected the turnover of statistics through periodic elections. A better view on politics held by a particular region may give it a leap over others which are not as circumspect as it is. Perpetually, views held on issues, regardless of their nature, shape or mould us better than actions.
Pertinent to us, a multi-party society has been highly captivating, which is probably owing to either our perception of the concept of power, or all it represents, capable or incapable. Varying degrees of comparison have trailed our polls in the past even till now, leaving us with evidence of immaturity in handling democratic activities worthy of emulation.
Worthy of note are lessons from the highly reckoned 1993 presidential elections anchored by the Humphrey Nwosuled National Electoral Commission (NEC) due to the sorts of democratic frivolities which have pervaded the terrain since then, making it almost impossible to think such a free, fair and modest electoral affirmative, devoid of manipulations of any kind had happened during a presumed ferocious yet educative regime of our beloved octogenarian-general, with democratic inclinations – I mean, the General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (GCFR), the former ‘military President’, whom we have blamed and still blaming for our democratic woes rather than commending for masterminding such an electoral masterpiece, which remains a worthy reference in our political chronicle, with unending relevance. Of a fact, I still do not know of any noticeable changes that had unfolded or just unfolding in our political system through the pedagogic routine of elections international observers team over the years, in spite of the large chunk of national budget squandered on the worthy initiative since inception.
We must have a rethink! Yet, our political deformity has been, over the years, that of continual recklessness courtesy of laniary, to a more-complicated binary of fabricated intrigues; to which quite a couple of sinister meanings have been read by nimble observers from both within and in the diaspora.
•Oguntoye writes from Otta, Ogun State