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2023 election: Call for wisdom, calm, sanity, patience



LAST Saturday, Nigerians went to the polls for the presidential and the National Assembly (NASS) elections. That was the sixth of its type since the country returned to democracy in  its Fourth Republic since 1999.

  DEMOCRACY is generally accepted as the best form of government, and one of the beauties of democracy is the constitutional right of every eligible citizen to exercise his or her franchise in  vote   and being voted for.

  THE February 25, 2023, presidential and NASS was highly  anticipated by Nigerians as that which will make or mar the country. The elections were held  on schedule without  postponement unlike that of 2019. The elections  have come and gone with winners declared and losers  announced

   EVERY election is characteristically, trailed by dissenting voices and  winner’s approval of views on its outcome. This has always marked  the electoral process in the country and elsewhere when not well managed.

  INASMUCH as we acknowledge such  challenges  and their importance, we advocate level playground and fair play for the  credibility of elections in the polity. These, mostly result from the electoral umpire.

HOWEVER, it is highly worthy of note that elections are neither the end of any land or its democracy. Peace and unity of society are more important.

  WHATEVER the outcome of any polls, the plethora of  challenges notwithstanding, we expect winners to show magnanimity in victory and losers to show statesmanship. 

GOING by the result of  last weekend’s elections, which led to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC) the President-Elect among other victors, some parties and their supporters had  threatened to take action based on the  alleged inconsistencies in the results. We call on the vexed parties to seek redress through the legal frameworks,  believing in the impartiality of our judicial system.

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  WE ADVOCATE sanity and patience regarding the outcome of the elections.  Violence or any form of socio-economic disruption won’t contribute to the growth of our dear nation.

  WE URGE politicians and their supporters to heed the words of the Spanish writer and philosopher, George Santayana, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”.  While British statesman, Winston Churchill wrote: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.

  A BIG lesson to draw from these, among others is in Nigeria’s past  election crisis of 1965. The  crisis led to a series of riots in the Western Region and created a  sign that became so violent that the area  came to be known as ‘Wild-Wild West’.

  THOUSANDS of lives and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in the post-election violence.  Without a doubt, the violence was the remote cause of the first coup that triggered the civil war and a prolonged military rule.

NIGERIA also had similar post election crisis in 1993 to 1999 and in 2011, among others.

NATIONAL  Light does not want a repeat of such sordid  history and calls for sanity because when the streets begin to burn, it will affect everyone.

POLITICIANS should note that there is a more grassroots-oriented election on March 11, 2023, and it’s in everyone’s interest to ensure it holds peacefully.

BUT more importantly, politicians and leaders of interests groups should note that it is wise to ensure that we have a calm, sane society during and after the elections.

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