War is not always necessarily accompanied by the booming sounds of gunshots or the deafening blasts of bombs. Neither is it always accompanied by the blinding lights of buildings going up in flames as the world has been treated to from the cinema of carnage that Ukraine has become. War goes on constantly and on different levels. Indeed, the vast majority of wars do not involve arms or the sickening sight of blood. Yet, these wars which rage on often without the force and fury of conventional warfare have so often proven just as deadly and ocassionally, even deadlier.
In the Giant of Africa, multiple wars rage at the same time. There is the war terrorists are waging against the Nigerian state, and the response of the Nigerian state which comes in the form of the war against terror. Since this war became full-fledged in 2009, the casualties have been mind-boggling to put it mildly.
In Nigeria, there is also the war against corruption. The gravely comical circumstances under which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recently arrested former Imo State Governor Mr. Rochas Okorocha on allegations of having stolen billions of naira from his state while he was governor reminded Nigerians that something, no matter how superficial, was still being done about corruption in Nigeria. This came barely a month after a controversial state pardon for two governors serving jail terms for corruption cast a pall over the country`s anti-corruption war.
There is only very little doubt in the minds of many Nigerians that 2023 will prove a pivotal year for the Nigerian project. It is a year during which the pockets of wars going on over Nigeria will culminate at the point where Nigerians would have to choose leaders at various levels, none more so than the presidency.
The battle is as much for the soul of Nigeria as it is about trying to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of corruption, insecurity and poverty. To say that Nigerians have had it really rough in the last seven years is to put it mildly. Events in the last seven years have stretched the patience of Nigerians to breaking point.
Come 2023, Nigerians would have to line up to vote at polls which must be viewed as crucial to the survival of the country going forward. Whoever clinches the ticket will be expected to confront headlong Nigeria`s most pressing problems. In this wise, Nigerians must choose wisely. There is only very little margin for error.
In 2015, amidst the insipid performance of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari`s candidacy promised so much. The candidacy later coalesced into the presidency. But to say that Nigerians have groaned and grumbled for the most part of the presidency which is now in its seventh year is to put it mildly.
Now, Nigerians must use their Permanent Voter Cards wisely to choose those they want in power. It must no longer be enough that people promise the outrageous. Nigerians must ask tough questions when they can, on the campaign trail. This is crucial to avoid spending a large chunk of time complaining or ruing what may have been.
Nigerians must register, get their PVCs and prepare to vote at the next elections. Like pearls, votes must no longer be cast before swine. If Nigeria is to escape the pit into which it has fallen, tough decisions have to be made. Taking tough decisions requires a lot of courage and beginning from next year, Nigerians must show that they have the courage to try new ways of doing things.
Rescuing Nigeria needs a show of courage more than anything else. Nigerians must be ready to show that they are ready.