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The glint of political knives

The 2023 general elections are well around the corner, and with most of the major contenders having emerged, it appears the contest will be bitten…

The 2023 general elections are well around the corner, and with most of the major contenders having emerged, it appears the contest will be bitten by the bug of past electoral battles.

Peter Obi has emerged as the candidate of the Labour Party. The former two-term Governor of Anambra State ran alongside Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, the runner up in the 2019 elections. Mr. Obi`s supporters, many of them young Nigerians, pack an aggressive streak. Across media spaces, their belief that their candidate alone can administer the treatment a desperately ailing country needs to survive is infectious. To hear Peter Obi, speak, and to take a peek into his sterling credentials and towering antecedents, is to feel that redemption is on the horizon for the long-suffering Giant of Africa.

Mr. Atiku Abubakar of the People`s Democratic Party is no pushover. The ‘Jewel of Jada’ who defied childhood orphanhood to rise from tending sheep and become the second citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for eight years is in the contest for a record sixth time. He has little doubt that his time has come. His supporters seem to know that too. So far, they have preferred issues to invectives, and have gone about carefully telling all who care to listen why Atiku alone holds the key that can unlock Nigeria`s potentials.

Since he threw his hat into the ring for the contest, Mr. Bola Tinubu, usually so self-effacing has gone on the offensive. He has talked about his willingness to fight dirty. He has tooted his own horn even if there are many politicians in Nigeria who would toot it ceaselessly for him because they owe him their political lives. He has variously described himself as the one who can bring Nigeria to the promised land. 

However, all those loudly and ferociously sharpening their political knives on the grindstone of 2023 must remember that the knives should never be turned on Nigeria but on the many issues that plague it.

Kene Obiezu writes from Anambra State