These are interesting times in our political history. For the first time, we are having a three-horse race by riders who were once political compatriots now gladiators each with significant national spread individually claiming victory even before reaching and breasting the finishing line.
The ruling All Progressives Congress has offered the last-minute twist where the belated policy of naira redesign which it had eight years to execute is now curiously being defended by the opposition but fiercely contested legally by some of the governors who had earlier championed the emergence of this administration at the centre.
The political climate these past two weeks is no longer at ease as things fall apart within members of the ruling party now openly taking on one another.
This foreplay to the election though amusing is however at a cost, yes heavy cost to the poor masses: the grass who they say suffers when two elephants fight. Our masses do not deserve to be made sacrificial lamb on this seeming political table ahead of the election. The proponent of naira redesign would have spared this innocent masses undeserved pain now inflicted arguably on a people traumatised by living in the acclaimed global capital of poverty.
Watching our mothers surcharged at Point of Sale centres as they exchange old naira for new notes and queuing at banks for hours for a favour of having a fraction of their saving to survive as reported across the country is most distressing
Now is the time for the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government to calm this misadventure in terms of timing, admit the inherent failure and reconstruct the policy in spite of its mouthed and acknowledged advantage. We must now focus on creating a conducive environment this week for the election.
This is one election where the decider of eventual victory will be the North in a contest of two candidates of Southern origin and a candidate of northern origin. Will the North already polarised by ethno-religious character of the Labour Party sweeping across the Christian northern belt be able to give a block vote to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party making inroads into the South-East and South-South?
How beneficial to the All Progressives Congress will the Muslim-Muslim ticket sway northern voters in its favour?
Will the magical spring up of the Labour Party candidate with large youth following basking in euphoria of aborted protest be able to evoke sufficient revenge to guarantee the party’s electoral victory beyond aggressive social media presence?
Win or lose in this presidential election, the Labour Party is the greatest beneficiary of the current political development. It has suddenly moved from political doldrums and insignificance to national prominence in a short space of time.
It is now left to be seen how as a nation we deal with post-election stress from followers of the political parties immersed with partisan confidence of having won the election even before the first ballot is cast.
The North in particular has the remaining few days in this week before the election to either choose one of the candidates of southern origin perhaps in the best interest of national cohesion or toe in line behind one of its own for a 16-year continuous stretch of retaining power in the North.
All these will be settled within the week; a loaded week to carefully watch as it unfolds.
As the political actors fire their final salvo, the mass of our people should be spared further hardship.
The power rotation from one zone of the country to another is an agreeably non-negotiable national equation which should neither be blurred nor compromised on the altar of narrow self-seeking parochial interest of a few. Our country is greater than the loud individual interest of any one however highly placed. No blood of any Nigerian is worth sacrificing for personal ambition.