Monday, March 20, 2023


Elections are a vital aspect of democracy. It provides an opportunity for citizens to choose their leaders and decide the direction of the nation. This year's elections also offer a chance for the consolidation and sustenance of democracy and the gains that have been made so far. However, the aftermath of an election is as important as the election itself. It is a period of reconciliation, healing, and consolidation of the gains made. The post-election period presents an opportunity for the winning candidates and the defeated oppositions to come together and work towards the betterment of the country. 

There is a huge and needed task of consolidating on the gains we made regardless of all the attendant problems faced in the build up of this elections, by all the stakeholders - the election umpire (INEC), the electorates and those to be elected into office. 

The introduction of the BVAS was instrumental in making the process a little more seamless and quicker. The reliability however, is yet to be proven as that will be an issue in the court of law, as some of the contestants are already heading there for fair hearing (which they are welcome to explore as it is within their constitutional rights to do so). Another point of concern is the pockets of violence, disruptions and threats to life experienced during this time. They were often fueled by the polarization of the political environment, with supporters of different candidates and parties engaging in exchanges that discolours our existence as a one and united people. Ethnicity and religion has been dangerously weaponised. The outcome of such violence has been seen to be devastating, leading to needless loss of lives, unwanton destruction of property, and the untamed disruption of social and economic activities. The challenge, therefore, is to find ways to prevent or manage such violence, especially in the post-election period. We need to seek ways and engage all stakeholders to build something viable and enduring as a collective.

Another challenge is the need to address the grievances of the opposition. Elections often lead to winners and losers. The defeated parties may feel that the election was not free and fair, leading to protests and calls for the nullification of the results. The challenge, therefore, is for the winning party to address these grievances in a transparent and fair manner, reassuring the opposition that their concerns are being heard and addressed. Failure to address these grievances can lead to a lack of trust in the electoral process, which can have negative consequences for future elections.

Threats to life are also a significant challenge that has to be addressed. It is not uncommon for politicians and their supporters to receive threats, leading to fear and uncertainty. This can be especially true for opposition politicians, who may feel targeted by the winning party. The challenge, therefore, is to ensure the safety and security of all politicians and their supporters, regardless of their political affiliation. This can be achieved through the provision of adequate security, the implementation of laws to protect politicians and their supporters, and the promotion of a culture of non-violence and tolerance.

Despite the challenges of consolidating gains after an election, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure a peaceful and successful transition.

One of the first steps is to promote national unity and reconciliation. Elections often create divisions among people, with supporters of different candidates and parties holding grudges against each other. The winning party can take the lead in promoting unity and reconciliation by reaching out to the opposition and other stakeholders. This can be done through the establishment of a national unity government or the inclusion of members of the opposition in key government positions. Such a gesture can help to ease tensions and promote a sense of inclusivity.

Another critical step is to address the grievances of the opposition. The winning party should take the concerns of the opposition seriously and be willing to engage in dialogue to find solutions to the issues raised. This can be done through the establishment of a commission to investigate allegations of electoral malpractices or through the provision of legal avenues for the opposition to challenge the results. Addressing the grievances of the opposition can help to promote trust in the electoral process and reduce the likelihood of future conflicts.

The promotion of a culture of non-violence and tolerance is also essential to consolidating gains after an election. Political leaders should use their positions to promote messages of peace and unity, encouraging their supporters to refrain from engaging in violent behaviour. The media can also play a role in promoting a culture of non-violence by reporting on the importance of peaceful and a united country.

In my view, the Labour Party has done well to rock the boat and establish itself as the third force many of us have been clamouring for. By tipping the scales, they have shown and proven that 'structure' is a fad. The Nigerian electorate is interested in voting competence rather than allowing a party run rough shod over an entire nation. For the first time, we saw gubernatorial candidates 'begging' for votes; more females were elected across board; long-serving politicians who have held on to power like it's their birthright were booted out of office and a lot of political neophytes emerging. The electorates have simply proven that it is not party as usual; and this outcome must be sustained by continued engagements between the party structure and the masses. Ideologies has to be projected and the common good that will be beneficial to all, instead of a select few, be largely discouraged.

Finally, bridges should be built between political rivals and a future collectively charted for the sake of our future and the future of our children.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress!!!

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