FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has reportedly warned Nigerians to make sure they elect the right candidates into political offices in the coming 2023 general election. He says that if Nigeria makes the wrong choice, it will be consumed. The former president’s message is instructive because Nigeria is on the precipice, and any wrong move by way of poor leadership recruitment could occasion inexorable descent into the abyss. Therefore, the electorate need to scrutinise candidates and make an informed choice based on their perception of the candidates’ capacity to solve the seemingly intractable challenges facing the country at all levels.
Ordinarily, Obasanjo’s advisory would have been unnecessary against the backdrop of the fact that the socioeconomic challenges facing the country are grave and pervasive enough to urge the average electorate to insist on the right candidates without being prodded. But politicians are reputed for being cunning and they have a way of hoodwinking the electorate with promises they do not intend to keep just to get elected. Unless the electorate are prompted to insist that politicians should answer some critical questions, their leadership recruitment could be suboptimal. And like the ex-president opined, if critical and careful choices are not made and irresponsible politicians are elected into positions, the country could be doomed too soon because its situation is already precarious. We urge the electorate to take Obasanjo’s warning seriously so that they will not have to lament about poor governance which they may have to contend with for at least another four years after the general election.
It bears stressing that all elections are important for offering a new beginning and platform for change and the possibility of better performance and should, therefore, be approached with every care and caution. The coming 2023 general election, in particular, presents an opportunity for Nigerians to redefine what they want from their government. And it should be noted that the veritable issue has transcended problem identification because that is virtually common knowledge. It is rather about what the candidates can do to solve specific problems with a strong emphasis on how they intend to do so. Elections are meant to provide voters with the chance and opportunity for assessing the direction of governance in a country in order to be in a position to redirect it as appropriate. The voting public are, therefore, enjoined to latch onto this periodic chance to redirect governance by carefully choosing the right candidates. This becomes of crucial importance because governance has become a mirage and an albatross for the mass of the people.