In ancient Rome, the Romans would say in their parlance – iacta alea est – meaning ‘the die is cast’. At other times, they would retort as Julius Caesar would say: ‘We have crossed the Rubicon’, meaning – ‘point of no return’!
Nigeria’s presidential election beckons in matter of days; hold it must and should, despite few contrary suggestions from some ‘dark corners’ over alleged ill-preparedness of INEC, insecurity situation in the country and most recently, the crises attending the new currency swap and gas supply.
There is never a perfect condition for any election. The issue is not whether there are problems but if there is capacity and political will to address and overcome them. Our impending elections must hold and hold it should; no going back, we have indeed ‘crossed the Rubicon’.
As it is now, all predictions, permutations, analyses and conjectures regarding the election appear to be falling apart because of the complex nature of the nation’s politics – where situations and scenarios change as quickly as they emerge.
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No one presidential candidate or any political party, not even their most ardent supporters can now say with certainty that victory is certain for them. In the last few months of full blast campaigns intricate webs of complexities have played out. Money, ethnicity, religion, suspicions, intrigues and conspiracies, in acutely nauseating formats to affect alliances and projections.
Blames have been traded by the political parties against each other, sometimes vitriolic, over perceived difficulties faced by the citizens on many fronts.
Even the ruling party – APC has not been spared of crises with many muted allegations and counter-allegations of disloyalty and betrayals from within, even as the party’s leadership moved to douse the situation and smoothen all rough edges.
The PDP on its part has suffered ‘assaults from within’, especially by the antics of the G-5 governors whose brinksmanship appears now to have fizzled out, with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar now in firmer control of the party machinery.
Indeed, Atiku has proved being an old warhorse, who understands the ropes and intrigues of the game; and can adapt to any situation, no matter how unforeseen and turbulent.
The Labour Party, which had been initially derided for having ‘no structure’ has continued to strive on like a raging tornado, compounding critics of the party. How the party’s chances, which wholly revolve around its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, will play out in the election remains to be seen at the polls.
Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNLP is holding his own in Kano and a few other states, not willing to succumb to the pressure of entering into any alliance with any other candidate on the grounds of any parochial consideration.
Unlike any other election, the turnout of prospective voters promises to be high, especially as the consciousness has increased amongst Nigerians that they can no longer be apathetic to general elections since the nation’s fate is closely tied to the quality of leadership that emerges.
Head or tail, a winner must emerge and Nigeria will move on.
The security services and the judiciary need to up their game too for the challenges ahead. Officers and men deployed for election duties must get the right orientation, adequately mobilized with equipment and resources including due allowances already budgeted for and approved.
These will be incentives to operate above board and give the credibility to the entire election process.
Celsus Ohain, journalist, author, resides in Benin
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