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By Chukwu Malachy O.

The 2023 Nigeria Presidential and National Assembly elections have been conducted and concluded. As announced by the commission, elections have been won and lost.


The election, prior to being conducted, was expected to herald a glimpse of hope for subsequent elections in the country. Before the 7th national election, voters were filled with high level of enthusiasm and optimism, braced and ready to rise to the occasion. Certainly, the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and assurances of preparedness from the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), brought forth the considerable rate of voter turnout and reinforced the trust that this time, the voter’s vote will count.

However, the aftermath of the quadrennial exercise held on Saturday, 25th February, 2023, has generated huge talking points ranging from logistics issues, violent acts on voters in certain places, voter suppression and majorly the anomalies in the functionality of the BVAS and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV), especially within the collation stage of the process. Many voters including Foreign Observers are now stuck in the doldrums with the entire process. It suffices to say that the electoral body has/had perhaps built castles in the air.

Despite the setbacks, every cloud has a silver lining! The earnings of the last polls must not be overlooked.


’’Democracy is a slow process of stumbling to the right decision instead of going straight forward to the wrong one.’’

It is safe to think that we are closer to where we want to be and farther from where we took off. The Nigerian state has witnessed another opportunity to elect her leaders through the ballot. Interestingly, through the ballot an election of a sort has emerged. An election that seem to be same-same, but different. An election that threw up very unpredictable outcomes that are rare in the nation’s political atmosphere. That is the beauty of the 2023 elections.

One of the major upsets thrown into the political scene is the winning of majority votes by the Labour party presidential candidate, HE Peter Obi, in Lagos state. A state where HE Bola Ahmed Tinubu served as a two term governor for 8 years and senator (for Lagos west) during the brief third republic. Such feats are extraordinary. Likewise, political parties won convincingly in states where opposition parties currently hold sway. APC controlled states such as Kebbi, Katsina, Kaduna, Yobe, Gombe were won by the PDP whilst Cross River, Nassarawa, Plateau, Ebonyi, Imo and Lagos were won by the Labour Party. Also, the APC garnered huge votes in certain PDP controlled states like Oyo, Benue and Rivers. The Labour Party also won in PDP states such as Edo, Delta, Enugu and Abia. Not forgetting the devastating impacts made by opposition parties in Anambra and Kano. Particularly, democracy was stimulated this time and it was shown in polling units and wards where strong party stalwarts lost their grounds to oppositions. These remarkable disruptions were caused in the political firmament of our dear nation. By and large, the voter’s vote made some unlikely impacts in this poll.

This paradigm shifts also hit the National Assembly elections. The 10th Assembly will surely witness a plethora of new members. Notably, out of the 55 serving senators who got party tickets and sought for re-election, only 25 succeeded. The turnover recorded in the last Saturday election is the highest since 2003, which would make the 10th senate largely populated by first timers. The Labour Party whose support base increased just few months ago clinched 6 senate seats and several House of Representative seats. The Social Democratic Party and New Nigeria Peoples Party also has won 2 senate seats apiece. Notably surprising is the circumstances of at least 7 out of the 10 current governors who ride on the power of incumbency to win election into the red chamber loose their respective senatorial districts. In the records, about 20 former governors were elected into the ninth National Assembly in 2019. This time, only two serving governors: HE Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) and HE Abubakar Bello (Niger) won their Saturday’s parliamentary election while the result of HE Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) is yet to be announced by the electoral body. These uncommon but momentous twists are quite new in the Nigerian political scene.


Another eminent spin in the keenly contested 2023 presidential election is the percentage of votes won with. Of a little over 25 million accredited voters nationwide, the winner HE Bola Tinubu garnered 8.7 million votes, winning with just about 36.6% of total votes cast. That is a far cry from the 55.6 % and 53.9% the 2019 and 2015 elections were won with, respectively. It is therefore safe to assume that there are more people who voted in the direction of the other parties than those who voted for the president-elect. These also, show the distinctiveness of the 2023 presidential election.

As democrats, it will be pertinent to keep calling for electoral processes transparently devoid of chicanery. Nonetheless, we must not lose sight of the advancements in our elections, as a developing nation. Looking at the unprecedented events and with the inroads made, we seem closer to where we want to be. Is this the time to quit? Do we throw the baby out with the bath water?

This is the election where the winner didn’t get 25% in the centre of unity, the Federal Capital Territory.


This is the election where political parties can’t claim they inherited votes from previous elections.

This is the election where principal and well known legislators won’t make it to the red and green chambers and many first timers will be welcomed.

This is the election where three political parties won 12 states each (including the FCT).
Quoting the 18th century Irish philosopher, Edmund Burke: “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could do only a little”. Our voices were surely heard therefore we must not loose hope.

Chukwu Malachy O. writes from Abuja.


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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