With the 2023 general elections now coming at Nigerians like a train in full speed, the political parties set to test their might in the polls next year are applying finishing touches to their internal issues, and putting their best foot forward—those they feel would give them the best chance of obtaining or retaining power.
Already, at the primaries of the biggest political parties which have gone down, candidates have emerged. The Peoples Democratic Party has elected Mr Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian Vice President. The All-Progressives Congress (APC) has hoisted Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose amiable demeanour momentarily crumbled in Ogun State on the cusp of the party`s primaries as his aggressive streak shone through when he reminded his party of his contributions to it and why the cup of the party`s ticket should not be taken away from him.
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Like a rainbow breaking through the clouds after a storm, the Labour Party has emerged as a third option for Nigerians largely because it has on its side a former two-term governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, who is arguably Nigeria’s brightest political light.
His clear ideas about the illness that ails a dangerously infirm country have endeared him to many young Nigerians who have watched their future blitzed by the blight of corruption and incompetence.
If one thing was more apparent than others in the just concluded primaries of Nigeria’s biggest political parties, the PDP and the APC, it is that money still plays an inordinate role in elections in the country, with its biggest roles reserved for the internal politics of the parties through which candidates are picked for elections. From within, both parties appear beyond redemption.
Immediately the delegates of both political parties began to descend on Abuja like a venue of vultures, conversations were coated with the outrageous amounts some of the contestants were willing to pay the delegates, in foreign currencies of course, and laughter laced with the lure of filthy lucre. Some of the delegates were said to have been paid thousands of dollars for their votes.
Politics and especially elections in Nigeria have become so infested with money as opposed to morals which multiply the values that must go into rescuing a sinking country leaf in no doubt the fate that will befall the public purse once any of those who paid through their noses to become candidates eventually takes power.
If in 2023, Nigerians don’t get it right, they will only be handing over the keys of the national vaults to the venue of vultures which has vowed to devour Nigeria. The consequences will be dreadful.
Kene Obiezu writes from Anambra State