A. J. Owonikoko, SAN, FCArb.
By Abiodun Owonikoko.
NIGERIA’S pseudo elites are very simple-minded . They are unwittingly stoking a religious war which will almost certainly lead to 2023 elections not holding and culminating in a declaration of state of emergency- as a lesser and acceptable evil than an outright military coup ( once the state gets sufficiently threatened and imperiled by the impending crisis that would ensue).
We must eschew the fast degenerating predilection to mobilize and polarise the voting populace along religious lines ahead of the coming general elections . It’s a slippery slope. It will make the emergence of any candidate perceived to have been handed victory based on faith identity unacceptable to peacefully assume power.
Everything that makes the eerie prognosis possible is tied to the fact that presidential election is coming first in time. Once it is truncated, we’d be heading inexorably towards anarchy . Peace by all means possible will then assume primacy and we would have to be more than willing to settle for a badly adulterated compromise yet again out of fear for the state failing altogether.
I cannot sound this note of caution more loudly. The leading political parties must start post haste, rolling out their robust manifestos to refocus and change the narratives from personality questions around who is good or bad among the candidates. It’s high time .
A.J. Owonikoko is a Lagos-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (FCArb).
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