Election 2023: To be or not to be, that is the question

by Promise Adiele

The inevitable parallel between literature and reality bulks large in the social visions of a conscientious observer. Within the context of literature’s sustained tyrannical identity as an art form, one is always compelled to respond positively to its beckoning hands for guidance in social commentary and analysis. Literature does not struggle to define historical or contemporary reality.

That is why Prince Hamlet’s famous soliloquy in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet immediately comes to mind when one considers the wavering potentialities of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria. Caught in a dilemma of choice between life and death, Prince Hamlet blurts out ‘to be or not to be, that is the question’.

The quote revives emotions of chaos, disarray, and inertia towards the 2023 general elections in Nigeria. Put in another way, it can be interpreted as – will it happen or will it not happen? That popular phrase by Hamlet drags us to a crossroad, the best locale for Esu, the Yoruba primal god of indecision, confusion, and uncertainty. Will there be election in Nigeria next year or not? That is the big question.

I am not unmindful of renowned legal luminary, Afe Babalola’s insistence that the 2023 general elections in Nigeria should be postponed. I am also aware that the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Enoch Adeboye recently avowed that God has not revealed to him that elections will hold in Nigeria next year.

If indeed elections will hold in Nigeria next year, the people have a responsibility to critically engage issues and educate a public obviously caught in the web of political ignorance. If in the cause of the critical analysis of these issues it becomes clear that elections should not hold, then so be it but the country must march forward towards a collectively determined favourable destination.

The 2023 general election is more significant because it will either signpost the revival of an ailing country or its final death and subsequent burial. It is so because there seems to be a near general consensus that the Mohammadu Buhari APC – led government is a colossal failure on all fronts. Every indices of failure in governance defiantly stare Nigerians in the face and on a daily basis. It is futile and at once needless to recount all the disembowelling, eviscerating conditions in the country.

Such indulges benumb the sensibilities and stymie the reasoning faculties of a well disposed person. In the last seven years, the country has bled and dangerously hovered over the proverbial precipice. APC and Buhari have connived to liquidate every shred of sociopolitical and economic association in the most populous Black Country on earth.

These conditions make the 2023 general elections very interesting and also ominously intriguing. However, the 2023 general elections in Nigeria remind one of Hamlet’s soliloquy ‘to be or not to be, that is the question’.

Looking at the APC led Buhari administration, it is safe to say that no APC candidate has any moral right to ask Nigerians for votes in next year’s election. Given the laceration of the Nigerian polity and all the attendant anguish, simply given that this government has plunged Nigerians into the abyss of gloomy despondency and despair, it would amount to a reckless insult to ask Nigerians to vote for an APC candidate next year. In that way, Yemi Osisnbajo, Bola Tinubu, Rotimi Amaechi and other APC aspirants have no business contesting for the number one position in the country. Do this people think that Nigerians are stupid?

Those who isolate Osinbajo as being part of the seven years of Buhari’s tragic government must also remember the significant role played by Tinubu in enthroning seven years of hellish regime on the polity. Yes, Osinbajo, otherwise a very brilliant, eloquent and qualified candidate, is undeniably stained with the dirt of APC rule of death in the last seven years. Bola Tinubu is as culpable as Osinbajo in the matter.

In fact, Tinubu should share more of the blame because he campaigned and foisted Buhari on Nigerians. Osinbajo may have been misconstrued when he avowed that he will continue from where Buhari stopped, but as an intellectual talking to dispossessed and helpless Nigerians, to promise to advance a Buhari culture is an unprocessed, raw insult on tender nerves.

Tinubu, the self-acclaimed landlord of Lagos should please stop the insult of aspiring to become the president of Nigeria because it is his life ambition. Tinubu is APC and APC is Tinubu. He has always supported the current government even when it is clear that Nigerians were groaning under an emasculating order.

Anybody in any capacity that has enabled these tragic conditions in the country under APC should hands up in apology to Nigerians and go home for proper restitution.

PDP has a number of candidates who are jokers and those who are serious contenders. It is indefensible that Atiku Abubakar, a man who has been a former vice-president of Nigeria and supervised momentous economic haemorrhage in the country is still aspiring to become the president.

What new things will he bring to the table? These people are simply asking for too much, testing the patience of Nigerians. Atiku is a Northerner, I expect him as a statesman, a position which he has adamantly refused to occupy, to respect on the grounds of morality a rotational scheme that will see a candidate from the South-East emerge as the party’s flag bearer in the next election.

Read Also: 2023: Ex-president Jonathan, be wary of sycophants

That reminds me of Peter Obi an excellent administrator and frugal personality whose record of economic performance speaks volumes. But there is a big challenge with the Peter Obi candidacy. Obi’s region, the South-East is currently caught in the throes of violence unleashed on the entire zone by the dare devil unknown gunmen.

The unknown gunmen have made it clear that there will be no elections in the whole South-East next year. Recently, a young Igbo man was brutally assassinated by these unknown gunmen while he was discharging his duties as an INEC staff.

If there are no elections in the South-East next year, how does Obi hope to become the president of Nigeria, with the votes from other regions? His silence on this matter is disturbing. Nigerians must decide what they want. To be or not to be, that is the question.

Dr Promise Adiele is a member of The Trumpet Editorial Board.

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