As I sit down to pen this piece, anger and frustration boil within me. The 2023 Nigerian elections, a significant moment in our nation’s history, have turned into a horrifying spectacle of irregularities, violence, and chaos. While I wasn’t born in 1983, I’ve grown up hearing stories from my father and others who lived through the tumultuous period that led to General Muhammadu Buhari seizing power in a coup. The chilling parallels between then and now are a stark reminder of the failed promises and unaddressed issues plaguing our beloved country.
General Buhari’s coup in 1983 was a response to the rigged presidential election by the National Party of Nigeria. Now, four decades later, as an outgoing civilian president, he presides over what many describe as the worst electoral disaster in Nigeria since that fateful year. One cannot help but question the irony and hypocrisy of this situation: Was Buhari genuinely unaware of the coup back then, or was he more complicit in the events than history suggests?
The 2023 elections have felt more like a scene from a horror movie than a democratic political process. Bloodshed, fear, and confusion have replaced the hope and unity that should have characterized this significant event. Instances of vote-buying were carried out in broad daylight, while the machinery of the state was employed to rig the elections. Thugs were unleashed upon innocent voters, disenfranchising and intimidating them in a blatant display of power and corruption.
My heart aches with disappointment and fury as I ponder the state of our nation and the direction in which we are headed. This year’s election is a sham, disdainful, painful, and heartbreaking to say the least. The audacity of those who sought to manipulate the democratic process, using violence and coercion to achieve their ends, is a testament to the depths to which our political system has sunk.
Nigeria and Nigerians have a long and arduous journey ahead before we can truly consider ourselves a strong and stable democracy. As I reflect on the events of this year’s election, I am reminded of the deep-seated issues that continue to haunt our political system. The tragic loss of life during this electoral period is a sad reminder of the high price ordinary Nigerians pay for the failures of our political class. These innocent victims died in vain, their voices silenced by a system that values power above the welfare of its citizens.
In protest of this sham of an election, some Nigerians have gone as far as destroying their passports, an act symbolizing their disillusionment and frustration. This powerful statement underscores the urgent need for change. We must come together as a nation and demand accountability, transparency, and justice, or risk losing everything we have fought for.
As a proud Nigerian, I am filled with rage and sorrow when I think of how far we’ve strayed from the path of true democracy. I wasn’t born in 1983, but I am living through the consequences of a nation that has yet to learn from its past. It is time for us to confront our history, face the reality of our current situation, and work tirelessly to create a better future for Nigeria and its people.
We owe it to ourselves and the memory of those who have sacrificed so much for the dream of a democratic Nigeria to stand up and fight for change. Only then can we truly honour their legacy and build a nation that is worthy of our aspirations. We must expose the fraud, the violence, and the manipulation that marred the 2023 elections and ensure that future generations of Nigerians never have to endure such a tragic and painful episode in our nation’s history.
Kator Tarkaa is a social commentator at Biografrica.
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