The Lagos Gubernatorial Elections held on March 18, 2023, were meant to be a shining example of the revitalised Nigerian democratic process. Instead, they became a dark reminder of the struggles the country faces in its pursuit of true democracy. The elections were marred by violence, intimidation, and voter suppression, with Nigerians witnessing a blatant attack on their democratic rights. This note delves into the troubling events that unfolded during the elections and calls for renewed hope and action in the pursuit of a better Nigeria.
The Disgraceful Events:
The day after the elections, headlines from major newspapers exposed the truth of the election process that took place , with phrases such as “DEMOCRACY IN SHAMBLES” and “BLOODY, VIOLENT POLL” dominating front pages. Violence, apathy, and voter suppression were evident, with gangs wielding dangerous weapons attacking voters, ballot boxes being snatched and burned, and security forces standing idly by.
The victims of these acts were not only adult voters but also children who had to bear witness to the brutality that unfolded before them. The situation was further exacerbated by tribalism, with specific groups being targeted, such as Nigerians of Ibo extraction who were subjected to persecution reminiscent of the Nazi era.
The main (reported) orchestrators of these events were the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and their president-elect. The APC, fearing defeat in the elections, resorted to desperate measures to maintain control over Lagos, which they have long perceived as their personal property. The party employed thugs and other criminal elements to intimidate, harass, and suppress voters, particularly those who did not support the APC.
The Call to Action:
Despite the tragic events that unfolded during the Lagos Gubernatorial Elections, the Nigerian people must not lose hope. The country’s resilient youth and citizens need to remain steadfast in their pursuit of democracy, accountability, and justice. They must continue to demand change and hold leaders accountable for their actions, refusing to be silenced or coerced into submission by the APC or any other political party seeking to perpetuate corruption and oppression.
The youth, being the largest demographic in Nigeria, must rise and take their rightful place in the political landscape. They must remain vigilant, engaged, and united in their pursuit of a better Nigeria, and work together to ensure that the dreams and aspirations of the Nigerian people are genuinely represented.
Global example shows that the struggle for true democracy is not an easy one,and Nigeria is not exempt, but it is a fight that must be won for the sake of the country’s future generations. The Lagos Gubernatorial Elections of 2023 serve as a painful reminder of the challenges faced by Nigeria, but they also offer a rallying point for Nigerians to come together in the pursuit of change. The spirit of the brave youth and the tenacity of the Nigerian people will ultimately triumph over the forces of corruption and oppression. Together, we can usher in a new era of prosperity, progress, and hope for Nigeria.
The struggle must continue
•Rhodes wrote in from Lagos