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Averting Imminent Restiveness, Crises During 2023 General Elections

By Sampson Uhuegbu

As we are counting down to 2023 general election, Chief Muhammadu Buhari is also preparing to take a bow as President of Nigeria, an office he assumed in 2015 and was subsequently re-elected in 2019.

The outgoing president’s emergence as number one citizen of the country came as a shock because of the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s show of maturity and sincerity of purpose.

Jonathan’s uninterestedness to remain in the corridor of power for second term, considering the fact that he had the thou-with-thou to return himself back to power, stands tall to be emulated by everyone aspiring to lead the people, that “Power” is only given by the voters. He handed over to his successor without being compelled to do so.

Government of President Buhari under the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, had for long been embattled with myriads of challenges such as Insecurity, high cost of living, inflation; while his inability to have tackled these problems is being rocked by reactions of the citizenry who are not finding it easy under the present harsh economy.

As we are looking forward to the forthcoming elections, there is urgent need for the Federal government to resolve the lingering issues with the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU) and other underlying loggerheads they are having with the Civil servants working in the Federal Ministries, Agencies and Departments. Not only that, other unions that are legitmately making case for their entitlements to be given to them.

Since the Nigeria’s higher institutions had been under lock and kies over little thing that could have been amicably settled without allowing it to snowball into a full-blown crisis. In the areas of Agriculture, Commerce & Industry, Transportation and Employment opportunities, Nigerians have never felt any positive impact in this government. Only those chanting undeserved songs of praises could be deemed as praise- singers.

It is not also laughable that fuel pump price is still high despite the cries of Nigerians. Even that of liquid cooking gas, kerosene, desiel, quite unimaginably hiked. Definitely, it would take the grace of God for present Nigerian economy to bounce back to normalcy.

Now that the President is rounding- off his 8- year in office, what would he be remembered for? Good or bad administration, you may ask. If he had only successfully achieved making life meaningful for Nigerians,
It’s a feat that would remain evergreen in the memory of his subjects- thereby writing his name on the sands of history as a leader that made positive impacts. Who knows, these rising rates of killings in the country could be linked to hunger and hardship by its perpetrators. It is possible because a starved man can do distateful things- depicting a transfered aggression.

Many lives lost in their prime due to the fact that economy of the country is repleted with harshness. From 2015 till date, it had never been easy to many Nigerians because their costs of living is on the high side.

We have not forgotten that Nigeria is endowed with enormous natural and human resources that is very sufficient to place it among other developed countries of the world. But unfortunately, mismanagement has brought us back.

Our country is Africa’s largest producer of oil and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world still, nothing to show for it. Hospitals and educational facilities are in sham. Our professionals are massively exiting the country for greener pastures in other countries due to joblessness, Non- payment of salaries to workers, tribalistic, nepotistic attitude towards workers.

Nigerian universities had been on strike for the past five (5) months. One wonders what why Federal Government could not meet the demand of the Academic union. Presently, only private universities had been on session.

With a population of over Two Hundred (200) million people, Coupled with the possession of over 100 tertiary institutions producing more than 200,000 graduates per year, Nigeria possesses all it takes to tackle some challenges facing it.

The condition of Nigeria has made our people to resort to cutting corners in order to survive the excruciating hardship hitting the country. Continuous rising of prices of goods and services has thrown the citizenry into confusion.

Despitets huge resource endowments this country is blessed with, majority of our people are abjectly wallowing in poverty; while unemployment and insecurity are on the rise. The economy has been dwindling. Bad leadership is a major factor why Nigeria has not been developing.

Against this backdrop, a focused leader is desperately needed to rescue Nigeria from the depth of barrenness. I am not here to campaign for any party flagbearer. Let our people decide via their votes. I am a Journalist but a political animal who is frowning at the manner things had wrongly went in the past and presently. moving in the Nigeria’s leadership system. A better leader is needed to change the urgly narrative.

We want our Seventh democratically- elected president to be a person with firm character, integrity and determination to turn Nigeria around.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Election observers, Security operatives, Journalists and other others that play prominent roles during the excise to avoid being used to manipulate the elections.

Furthermore, youths should shun restiveness and other vices during the forthcoming election which could trigger – off crisis thereby leading to destruction of lives and property.

Presidential candidates of the APC, LP, PDP and other political parties should conduct themselves in a responsible manner; and advise their supporters to trade with caution in order to ensure that a free, fair and transparent and credible election is conducted.

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