Covid-19 and the Intrigues of Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections

Never in the history of modern humanity have people, governments and economies been this hit by an invisible common enemy – Corona Virus. It has tested the scientific intelligence and technological prowess which man has hitherto boasted of, and which he has conveniently failed. So man could be this clueless, this helpless? The “almighty” US is on her knees because her much-cherished public treasury will continue to suffer as long as the virus spread is not significantly contained and curtailed, pending when a reliable therapy shows up…
This is not a traditional warfare that demands some sort of militarization or deployment of fiercely-looking Russian soldiers, or the armament of some officers that will put their lives on the line to safeguard the territorial integrity and vulnerability of the land of the Asian Tigers.

Also, the use of all of those expensive state-of-the-art guns and ammunitions by the North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un has been put on hold. Countries are now missing their missiles in action. I ask again: can the entire world be this humbled? What a God!
As the United States prepares for the polls later this year, covid-19 will undoubtedly, be among the major discussion points between the aspirants and electorate when they decide who their next representatives will be for another term of four years. US presidential elections in particular, will be characterised by political thrills and intrigues, part of which may eventually consume some of her political “big shots”. It will take the Republican Party’s candidate, Mr Trump’s sagacity, maturity and diplomacy to even get a return.

The way I see it, American people are earnestly waiting, with their loads of carefully-prepared questions to know why some decisions were taken in the era of covid-19. These are questions Trump can not answer, without sweating. I deliberately went this far to help prepare the mind of the Nigerian readers of this piece to, inter-alia:
* Use as a template for voting in Nigeria and as “copy and paste” when the 2023 General Elections approaches. What is good for the goose, as they say, should be good for the gander. The presidential system of government being practised in Nigeria is a replica of the America’s. We cannot “copy” the division of power among our 3 arms of government: legislature, executive and judiciary; copy the downward sloping of government levels from the Centre to its autonomous state and local governments and refuse to “paste” all the processes and procedures thpat sustain and strengthen the same system with sincerity and the needed seriousness. Nigeria cannot continue to be a hypocritic nation when all she knows is run to these super powers during periods of financial distress, and yet continue to treat her people like trash.
* Remind the Nigerian people, once again, that sovereignty of democracy rests in their hands. Like the Americans, Nigerian people can singlehandedly decide to elect who truly care about them.
* Remind them that the best time they have to partake in nation building process is during free, fair and credible elections. On these seasonal occasions, they can ask aspiring public holders reasonable and salient questions regarding their welfare and security.

Covid-19 came to our land uninvited; it will go without a farewell. If all the regular press conferences by governments at both the federal and state levels are religiously adhered to, we will beat this “thing”. As a developing nation whose only foreign exchange earner – crude oil – is no longer a “jewel” in the international market, Nigerian people cannot but embrace the easing of more than 5-week lockdown they embarked on.

In 2023, President Muhammad Buhari would have completed his constitutionally-required two terms in office. Nigerians, as usual, would be hoping to exercise their customary civic obligations to elect who should represent their interests again. Similar to that of US, the handling of, and politics around 2020’s covid-19 will form part of the electoral discussions. Some conversation may ensue between politicians and voters, and it would be advisable for Nigerians not to forget in a jiffy, all that transpires during this darkest period of their political life. 2023’s political jobbers are already keeping adequate records for future references. Amount of funds disbursed under the guise of private purses and government allocation for this “project” as well as what and what constituencies are getting what amount and on what date may be revisited. Nigerian voters will be astonished to see how real teachings of POS101 will be taught by our politicians. They will see the re-play of all recorded transactions of 2020 being played on HD screen in 2023. It is not too late to start taking stocks of all their “received and receivables” of covid-19 palliatives now.
Gullibility of voters will further be tried by those I will call the “passive politicians”. Faces of this set of people, though may be hidden now, will come out in no time. They are capitalising on this wonderful opportunity presented by covid-19 to do their KYC i.e know your customer on their potential clients, the voters. Some of them include the members of corporate body of this world, the self-acclaimed human rights activists, the executives of multinationals in Nigeria, notable media practitioners and musical industry’s renowned names. I would have loved to be an advocate of voter apathy, but doing so in this country, is as dangerous as intentionally voting the wrong candidate. It is case of “what human beings failed to do, spirits will do better”. Thanks to our faulty Electoral Law on this!

I do not foresee President Buhari enforcing or endorsing a candidate because this administration already has too many enemies than friends. The administration of Buhari is disfavoured by dwindling crude oil prices for almost the whole of the 8-year rule, albeit striving to ensure the country’s economic status quo is maintained and improving infrastructural facilities. The septuagenarian Buhari would prefer to return home in peace. He surely would do away with some eleventh-hour decisions that he may forever regret.

Opinion of Kola (To be continued)

Kola Ganiyu

Kola is a meticulous watcher of the Nigeria's political developments and how they can impact – positively – the lives and livelihoods of the majority of the Peoples of Nigeria whose voices are usually not audible enough or are given limited audience.

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