2023 Election Commentary Election Headline News Nigeria Politics Special Report

Coping with the Outcome of the General Election

2024 heneral election

The much-awaited 2023 General Election, including the inconclusive and rerun cases, has come and gone.

However, like any other human activity, the exercise has been trailed by a flurry of opinions, criticisms, and controversies, good, bad and ugly.

The mixed grill of reactions and emotions pouring from different quarters emanate from perceived fundamental errors, acts of omission and commission on the side of the Electoral body, INEC, the candidates, political parties, and politicians generally.

It is only natural that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC should come under serious public scrutiny and appraisal for whatever was perceived to have gone right or wrong in the elections considering its repeated unequivocal reassurances of impeccable exercise anchored on the deployment of the BVAS and the Electronic Transfer of Result.

Post-election challenges

Meanwhile, as the umpire in the electoral process, the onus lies on INEC to objectively and painstakingly examine the complaints, protests and issues that are being expressed and presented to it.

To this extent, it is expected that INEC should, with effortlessly ease, cope with the post-election challenges by making available all documents and logistics that would facilitate the speedy, transparent, and honest dispensation of the complaints, litigations and protests that are obviously arising from the elections.

If previous experiences are anything to go by, there are likely to be numerous electoral disputes to be laid on the tables of the Election Tribunals which have already been put in place for such purpose.

Political fence-mending and reconciliation

Similarly, the judges constituting the panels are expected to stop at nothing in exhibiting credibility, transparency, neutrality, independence, impartiality, vitality and robust responses to redressing alleged electoral irregularities and malpractices perpetrated during the elections.

Furthermore, it is quite imperative that members of the political class refrain from provocative acts and inciting utterances that are capable of unnecessarily hitting up the polity or derailing the hard-earned democracy. They should rather resort to peaceful, legal and constitutional means of seeking justice.

More so, what is most expedient at this period is political fence-mending and reconciliation. After all, politics is said to be a game that knows no permanent friend or enemy but permanent interest.

In this spirit, therefore, candidates who were declared winners should reach out to the losers with a view to accommodating them and some of their viable programmes for the benefit of the masses and overall state and national development.

It is, to say the least, counterproductive, anachronistic and indeed unconstitutional for any individual or group to embark on acts that would be inimical to the unity and progress of the country simply because the general election failed to satisfy the selfish desire of a few individuals or a particular political divide.

The fact has to be emphasized that Nigerians, with the constituent states, are greater than any individual or group, and should, in spite of all odds and obscurities, move forward.

When the chips are down

When the chips are down, the innocent children, women, the aged, the disabled and millions of helpless Nigerians would be made wanton victims of any violence, crises or destruction of lives and property that could emanate from the elections only to satisfy the personal political ambition of a few powerful individuals.

As Nigerians, therefore, await May 29 for the inauguration of the new set of leaders, it becomes most expedient for all to see the negative and positive aspects of the 2023 general election as veritable lessons that will serve as invaluable guides and useful pointers to the advancement, strengthening, solidification and consolidation of the nation’s promising democratic practice.

Writing by Dr Benjamin Nwokedi, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri; Editing by Saadatu Albashir