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Nigeria can neither afford ING nor postpone the elections!!!

By Livingstone Amadi

In the past few days, the ominous lyrics of Bob Marley’s epic song, Natural Mystic, have been wafting in the air all around my somber heart and if you listen carefully now, you will hear it!

“There’s a natural mystic blowin’ through the air
If you listen carefully now you will hear
This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why
Things are not the way they used to be
I won’t tell no lie
One and all got to face reality now”

The tension and outrage occasioned by the twin demons-the relentless fuel shortage and the Naira swap crisis-have unfortunately pushed the country to the dangerous edge of a slippery precipice. And as Bob Marley sang, “this could be the first trumpet and might as well be the last. God forbid!

There is everything wrong and absolutely scandalous about this state of affairs because Nigeria, the most important country in Africa, is two weeks to a make or break election. Perhaps, most troubling is the fact that the fuel and Naira issues have now been weaponised by politicians with fingers pointing in various directions-including the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa and the Central Bank of Nigeria, two otherwise hallowed places.

As I make this sober reflection, banks are shutting their branches and offices with staff fleeing for their lives while Petrol Stations are closing down. This is because of violent attacks by angry masses, who with no Naira to even buy food much less petrol have justifiably become restive. If this isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what it, coming barely 18 days before a landmark Presidential election.

Conspiracy theorists are suggesting the Naira swap debacle and fuel shortage were methodically orchestrated to coincide with the election period to incite the people against the government, on the one hand, and to make it impossible to hold peaceful elections, on the other hand. Whichever hand you choose to look at is coterminous with trouble. Either one will lead to disgrace for President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party, but even more so for Nigeria as the largest Black Country on earth.

An Interim National Government, if the situation does not abate soon and the elections do not hold? Hell NO!!! Every Nigerian, who loves Nigeria must speak up now against such an evil thought before it becomes a plan. It is being suggested that some people who are not happy with the potential outcome of the presidential elections are working hard to scuttle it. But why? One can only imagine the games that were played and who played what game in the period leading to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections and the establishment of an ING. God forbid again!!!

I want to believe that PMB still believes in his dream of leaving behind a legacy of peaceful, free and fair elections and handover. He, especially, must not allow the forces of darkness to manipulate him into destroying the house he’s been building since 2015. In fact, if you count his three failed attempts to become the president, he has been building for over 2 decades. How then would he sacrifice all that sweat and blood? For what?

The elections must hold. Nigerians have been looking forward to it. I dare say that never have Nigerians been more prepared for the elections than now. Many of them for sure cannot say who will eventually win the presidential election, but they are sure those they do not want to win. That is how much interest in this particular election has grown. In some sense, Nigerians strongly believe it is their turn (not that of politicians) to decide those who will be in charge of their affairs going forward.

Nigeria has been good to Buhari. He can, therefore, not afford to let them down at this critical moment. He cannot so carelessly squander their goodwill as to allow the vultures lurking around to plunge Nigeria into another 1993. With the security situation across the country combined with the growing hunger and rising poverty, Nigeria will be hell on earth if anything goes wrong. I want to believe that Buhari is a wise man, whether he looks it or not.

Nothing, repeat nothing must happen to the presidential elections due on Sunday, February 25, 2023. As they say in church, it is a day the Lord has made and Nigerian want to rejoice and be glad in it. Enough said.

Amadi writes from Lagos.

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