There are two critical success factors in any election; voter mobilisation and election result management. This is even more so for developing countries where institutions are not yet robust enough to withstand the twin evil of internal compromises and external pressures.
The Labour Party; her presidential and vice presidential candidates; their presidential campaign council; and the numerous donors, volunteers, and support groups powering the #OBIdient movement should be given due credit for their incredible voter mobilization efforts.
The weakest link however remains the election result management systems and processes. At a personal level, I have made what I believe were compelling arguments as to why Nigerians, especially the leadership of political parties, outside of the big two, should work hard to minimise the possibility of a technical compromise of the upcoming elections.
For some reason, the leadership of these parties, their candidates, and their campaign councils are not interested in having such discussions. Some seem worried that openly interrogating INEC’s systems at this time may dampen the morale of their would-be voters. Others hinge their confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s “body language” and the “assurances” given by INEC.
For so many prospective voters and the communities they represent, the issues at stake in the 2023 general elections are matters of life and death. For many others, the outcome of the elections will have monumental and irreparable consequences. Those who look at these realities and chose to emplace this level of confidence on mere assurances, without any effort to verify those assurances, have embarked on a gamble I consider too reckless.
At great risk and personal sacrifice, let me repeat this warning; Those desirous of birthing a new Nigeria must deploy the full levers of their agency to interrogate all the systems and processes INEC will rely on to process the voting decisions of Nigerians.
The reason is not far-fetched. I had, on the 18th day of September 2022, said that the winner of the 2023 presidential election will prosecute the elections with a “near mathematical accuracy.” Well, that was a diplomatic way of presenting issues. I have since removed the gloves and made attempts to paint the picture in black and white.
The dots have been connected. All that needs to be said about 2023 have been said, I believe. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Africa’s morning will come.
By Chima Christian
Chima is a good governance advocate and a public policy analyst.