2023 elections and the consequences

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For there to be peace there needs to be justice, and for there to be justice the truth must take precedence.

Election is the most fundamental aspect of any democratic nation and it is a process in which the people vote to choose the person or group of people best suited to represent them in developing and uniting their territory (nation).

If you notice, the keyword, when talking about election, is centered around People because as a society we need a group of leaders to ensure orderliness and cohesiveness in our communities in order for us as individuals or group to be able to thrive, utilise our potential and actualise our individual God-given purposes.

That’s why it is very important for us as a people to consider the kind of leaders we want to bestow power upon as they won’t only be the face of the nation, but the character and icon of our great republic and also because it is very critical to the sustenance and growth of any nation.

Election needs to be sacred, anything less than an unassailable process is rigged and the consequences of a rigged election is a nation in decline. We examine the American electoral process which is designed as a rigged system by requiring no voters identification, allowing non-citizens to vote as well as allowing mail-in ballots without verifying individual’s signatures.

This was used in their 2020 elections and see the outcome, it resulted to seeing the American people going through the highest inflation rate in over 40 years and the world being at the brink of world war 3, then juxtapose it with the just concluded 2023 Nigeria’s presidential and National Assembly elections which were designed to be the most secure, free, fair and transparent election in our history.

INEC was to ensure voters ID cards were intact and implement the BVAS which will make it almost impossible for the process to be rigged. But in Nigeria, there is a common statement and a reoccurring theme that is used as a general expression when you are in disbelief which is “Wonders shall never end”.

How a process that was meant to be above par even beyond the level and standard of the United States of America which is presently in a state of decline due to a rigged election system, how much more will be our fate if we as a people don’t demand transparency and justice NOW? Are we going to be able to survive another four years of no accountability even in our current situation as a failed state?

This is the first election I have witnessed as a Nigerian, and it is largely due to the country’s economic woes that the youth were so motivated to participate in the electoral process as evidenced by the record, whereby the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered over 93 million Nigerians.

Many had to go through difficult circumstances to obtain their PVC, just so they could vote but at the end of the day less than 25 million ballots were counted, the lowest in Nigerian history that is less than 27% of all registered voters.

As a result of this it is incumbent on the INEC to do a review and audit of the process because we as a people will not accept that over N300 billion of tax payers’ money (the people’s money) be wasted and without accountability.

There must be an explanation why the newly implemented BVAS which was supposed to serve as a security measure in ensuring a fair and transparent process just as when a customer who uses a POS gets a receipt as evidence of his transaction but what we experienced was something entirely different. It turned out to be the greatest scam in Nigeria’s electoral history as no result was transmitted in every polling unit in Nigeria after the votes were counted.

This is a reminder to the enemies and saboteurs of our nation that the power of the people is greater than the people in power and that the true power lies with the people who sacrificed everything and came out in unprecedented numbers to exercise their civic right and obligation as patriotic citizens despite threats from political opponents, a lack of security from INEC, a lack of coordination from INEC, acts of violence and the people came out to vote under the rain and you want to rob them or silence their voice! That won’t happen not this time! these same people are the ones who will determine the final outcome of this process.

The final outcome of this election will not be determined by the favoured candidate whom the people have overwhelmingly chosen to lead them, but by the people themselves, who will decide which cause they want to support, as the darkest hour always comes before dawn. I urge everyone not to be discouraged, but to be encouraged, and to go out and vote in the upcoming governorship and state legislative elections, exercising your franchise one more time before we take our stand as great Nigerian people.

In conclusion we will demand as a people that the same day voting is done is the same day results are collated and a winner announced, that the election time be extended and we propose it begins from 8am and ends at 5pm and that the BVAS have a means of printing verified tabulated result and a copy be given to all party agents in each polling unit across the nation.

We appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria on behalf of all aggrieved parties to hear this case with fairness and justice because in order for us to move forward and have faith in the system, there must be accountability and auditing of the entire process. When the people’s candidates go to the Supreme Court to make their appeal we the people will be there to take our final stand.

Igbagi, president/founder, People’s Dream Initiative, writes from Abuja.

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