The 2023 Elections: Facts vs. Fiction and Possible Outcome/ Frisky Larr

The buildup of excitement in the runup to February 25, 2023, can never be more palpable than it is today. One candidate has, above all others, gained notoriety for thrilling the electorates to a relentless involuntary but negative and pathetic entertainment on the campaign trail. Bola Ahmed Tinubu has become the man of the moment on every single day of electioneering in 2023 since one hardly passes by without a Tinubu-generated faux pas. At the other end, another candidate stands out for non-conspicuous appeal nursing the optimism of a possible victory while hoping against all odds, that reports of a corruption-laden antecedent will not haunt him to the dearth of his ambition. The third candidate, who stepped in as an outsider hopes against all odds, that the power of the youths will drive him to victory.


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All that notwithstanding, it is impossible as it stands today, to foretell, in whose direction the pendulum of victory will swing. While intermittent opinion poll samples are made public from sources that people know little or nothing about, the results of such sampling always collapse at the altar of structural exigencies in the hosting society. With a mass of voters barely able to read and write (predominantly in the northern geographical region but also in the south) and unable to know what each party stands for, ballot motivation is, inevitably, driven by material incentives from all directions rather than political education. In the end, the voter chooses the most lucrative incentive and votes for a party, whose program or leadership direction he/she barely knows anything about. With political parties now reported to be taking down notes from voter’s cards in advance of gift delivery to individuals, the rigging machinery is being systematically oiled to be set in motion. A clear recipe for electoral disaster. In other words, informal opinion polls that have consistently put the Labor Party’s presidential candidate ahead of his rivals, are hardly worth the papers that they are printed upon.

Yet, the need to catch a glimpse of tips and trends to prognosticate the shape and form of the immediate political future, means the reading of tea leaves to satisfy a crucial urge in human cravings. The two options available for such a venture, will, undoubtedly, be the facts of the moments as they shape up events and the assessment of financial capabilities to oil the corrupt outreach to voters with influential incentives.

Judging by the first option: FACTS, political waters seem even murkier and tend to frustrate any and every rational attempt to see through the haze and identify a frontrunner. When a candidate assassinates his chances on daily basis with clear and unmistakable cognitive deterioration showcasing Parkinson’s-related health challenges that will progressively undermine the integrity of personality and existence, it is hard to see such a candidate as standing any chance of victory in a normal human setting. This is further compounded by an array of forgery charges, identity theft, drug-related biography and open godfatherism with his attendant lordship over the public treasury of a vibrant state as well as evasion of media probe and delegation of intellectual exhibitionism. Such a person, will, under rational circumstances, stand no chance of victory in a sane society.

When a candidate carries the baggage of being a certified thief and public treasury looter as detailed in books and oral submissions by none other than a person he once served under, it is difficult to see such a candidate as a frontrunner in a sane setting of discerning human assessors. This will hardly take into account that the candidate has shown a lot of smartness and intelligence, articulative coherence and sense of purpose in several public outings.

The same applies to a newcomer candidate, who, even though, has no clear baggage as the other two, still contends with the sole fact of being a newcomer basically carried on by one geographical region and subsequently embraced by almost all others with a demographic base that leaves the chances of victory questionable. Even though there are scattered accusations of lying statistics and conflict of interest in the investment of state funds while a public servant, none of these, even if they were proven true, comes halfway close to the baggage carried by the other two most prominent contenders.

This leads us to the second option of assessing the financial capabilities to oil the corrupt incentivization of voting behavior. So far, the words, “sane” and “rational” have been repeatedly used in reflecting the society that carries the candidates. In fact, the insaneness and irrationality of our own society in the community of democracies lies in the reality that candidates, who, ordinarily should stand no chance of knowing victory in the face of all the odds listed above, are, indeed, the most prominent characters threatening to steal the victory in broad daylight supported by those, who should know better.

The candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu served as the Governor of a State in Nigeria, with a long record of high-achieving Governors, the last-known being Alhaji Lateef Jakande before Tinubu himself. As a Governor, Tinubu was smart, alert, and full of undeniable achievements alongside a catalog of constitutionally certified legal plundering.

The severance package that he passed into law when leaving the seat of Governor in 2007 (detailed in my book “Leadership and Crime: Siamese Twins in Africa”), is a clear testimony to constitutional robbery and daylight depletion of public resources. Today, however, Tinubu stands out visibly for suspected physical and mental deterioration. Trembling limbs to the point of inability to flip a page on stage is a pointer to Parkinson’s sickness (yet unproven) and the constant speaking of weird languages on political platforms, that no one understands, clearly heightens suspicion of cognitive deterioration (waiting to be proven medically).

Unfortunately, however, the man has money. Plenty of it as it is rumored. Years of cashing in on the severance package alone without other rumored contractual improprieties, have left him with a mighty war chest to buy the loyalty of voters that opinion polls cannot capture.

Moreover, the regional tussle for political dominance that dates back to the colonial days (as I have also detailed in one book or two) and left Nigeria with a cardinal dichotomy of North and South, Christian and Muslim, has proven to be decisive in the 2023 elections. This time, the northern players have secured their chances on a clear double-cross by not only ensuring that their candidates are directly and indirectly featured in the two most prominent parties but also by bending the rules to boost the chances of their region taking direct or indirect control of the country once again. This hardly requires further explication in the face of the Muslim-Muslim ticket and obvious tactical manipulations.

In fact, the featuring of a third northern candidate on a fringe party’s ticket badly tilts the scale of equity in favor of the North as it currently stands.

Now, without the candidature of Labor Party’s Peter Obi, would Nigeria have been left to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea? While many Nigerians consoled themselves by counting the days left of the very unpleasant government of General Muhammadu Buhari (to put it mildly) hoping that a fresh opportunity for a new start will creep up soon, the choices presented simply seemed to be upping the ante to perdition.

A rumored drug addict and drug dealer with stolen identity, forged educational qualification and owner of an intricate web of exploitation syndicate with very serious health challenges that threatens to impose yet another surrogate presidency on the country! Such a candidate against a former Vice President – smart and alert – but with a long filthy record of alleged marabout inclination and insatiable appetite for treasury looting! Funnily, none of both has any explicit manifesto to challenge, let alone fight our worst malaise called corruption and resource mismanagement.

Come to think of it, in the absence of the third force, Peter Obi, who now, challenges the establishment order, victory was, more or less, a foregone conclusion for either of the two big parties. Given the facts known to the public today, the establishment that has been consolidated under the present dispensation of Muhammadu Buhari, is also in a state of confusion. Having known the facts of Tinubu’s weaknesses long before his public coronation in the ruling party, Buhari’s ruling cabal could not unite to frustrate his nomination as Presidential candidate. They ended up wasting their time postulating on returning former President Jonathan, getting a northern candidate in defiance of the zoning arrangement and some even endorsing Tinubu to facilitate northern rulership through the backdoor if Atiku fails to win after bending the PDP rules himself. In the end, preventing the complete collapse of the ruling party made way for greenlighting Tinubu’s candidature.

Now that the entire filth is known to the public about Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there is a choice to be made. The risk of international representation or quipping of Bala Blues and gobbledygook at the podium of the United Nations, may turn out worse than the public wetting of pants by the President of South Sudan.

The choice by the establishment will, definitely, not be Peter Obi since the establishment and cabal driving the present dispensation is a strong northern-leaning formation. The pendulum, therefore, seems to swing in the direction of Abubakar Atiku with the power of possible irregularities irrespective of the present widespread belief in the impossibility of same.

Left to the suspected numerical voting majority, however, Peter Obi must win the day. The nominal majority may not necessarily be the qualified majority with the required constitutional spread. The impending palpable risk of mass unrest in the event of the failure to mount the saddle by Peter Obi if irregularity is perceived in the polls, may not serve to install this outside force in the final analysis. The resilience for a cleansing revolution is not yet an African thing since crowds will quickly disperse and calm down at the sound of one ballistic shot. The presence of Peter Obi on the ballot sheets may be the signal of a revolutionary mindset, whose time has come or at worst, is fast approaching. If he manages to win, which is still a highly potent possibility, the better it will be for the growth of democracy in Africa, and this will resonate strongly across the continent. Choosing him against the devil and the deep blue sea, would be a lease of new life for Nigeria to press the reset button. Therefore, in spite of all abuses and frustration-laden vicissitudes,

Nigerians will live to thank former President Olusegun Obasanjo much later for his endorsement of Peter Obi and hopefully, not after his death.

FRISKY LARR is a German-based Radio/Television Journalist with several years of working experience as a radio journalist serving radio stations in different regions of Germany. Four years of Radio/TelevisionJournalism studies at the University of Ankara, Turkey was followed by a Master degree program in the combined studies of Communication Science (Major), Political Science (Minor) and Social Psychology (Minor) at the Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany. Besides authoring several articles on political commentaries released in several Nigerian Dailies since 2006, Frisky Larr writes an online column for In addition to the English language, Frisky Larr has a good command of written and spoken German and Turkish languages.

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