Editorial: Now That The Candidates Have Emerged

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As the nation gears up for the 2023 general elections and with the various political  parties  completing their various primaries for all contestable offices, all eyes are now fixed on the candidates who have been produced by such primaries.  While we may give thumbs up for level of maturity shown in such contest, we must yet again frown at a number of discrepancies that was witnessed in some of the primaries. A number of these processes were flawed with stories of violence and crass manipulation. There was also the issue of vote buying in which aspirants sought to bribe delegates with huge amounts of money. Such occurrences remain an ugly side of our democratic process and require that the electoral regulating body in INEC and the National Assembly work out a number of steps to help curb these irregularities.

 

Away from that, we on the sides here insist that INEC has its work truly cut out. All Nigerians want is a massive improvement from what we experienced in the last general elections, and providing a seamless election with much reduced incidences of electoral malpractices is not beyond INEC’s reach given the billions of Naira voted of the tax payers money to enable it meet its duties.
INEC should get its acts together and ensure that when voters troop out to vote on the scheduled voting days, the voting, counting and collation processes are not marred with irregularities of any sort. It should work hand in hand with the security agencies to help ensure that no political party or supporter is harassed by their opponents on, before or after the electoral process.
The Civil society isn’t left out, they owe it as  a duty to help monitor the electoral process, observing and reporting lapses as they see it. They can also help inform as well as educate the electorate on the basics of voting their preferred candidates.
The media also has its roles cut out for it, it must give or attempt to give every party and candidate equal access to share their manifesto and programmes to the electorate. It also owes society unbiased reportage of the various activities  of the parties bearing in mind that as the nation’s  watchdogs , it should hold INEC, security agencies and our political parties accountable.
Lastly, the political parties and their respective candidates owe the nation  a decent  campaign on issues. They should eschew violence and play fair by the rules guiding the electoral process, having in mind that should this process fail then the foundations of our democracy will be threatened, alongside this,  the stability of our nation will also be shaken, and who knows what consequences we may bring upon ourselves?
2023 offers us the opportunity to redeem our nation, all hands must be on deck to ensure such.

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