Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) has noted that the 2023 general election will teach Nigerian important lessons, and will a watershed moment in the country’s political history.
Uko who is also the secretary of Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) and deputy secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought, noted events during and after the polls will shock many, even as he pointed out that the election may be shifted on account of insecurity.
Uko in a statement on Thursday, noted that clashes of civilisations, cultures and generations will “definitely occur, in varying degrees,” and that “unexpected realities and shocking developments and responses will surprise us all.”
Read his statement below:
The Magic of February 2023
Next General elections may be shifted, nobody knows, but if it holds according to plan, many compatriots will certainly learn certain deep lessons seven months hence.
Though it may seem so faraway, February 2023 isn’t 70 years away or 7 years away either. It’s just like last Christmas, just 7 months away.
I repeat, “Naija will happen” to many, many people. Events will shock compatriots. The elections and the results will confound our country men and women. I call it the magic of February 2023. I happen to know because I prayed for the awareness in the land today.
History students will single out this singular election as a watershed and most remarkable and decisive point in the history of the land.
Clashes of civilisations, cultures and generations will definitely occur, in varying degrees. Unexpected realities and shocking developments and responses will surprise us all. A new thinking will emerge. Unexpected realisation will begin to redefine the new phase in the life of the country. Certain narratives taken for granted for too long, will evaporate, to be replaced by new reality. There will be a paradigm shift. Reality will replace myth, positive political culture, will replace unhelpful stereotypes sustained too long out of paranoia, ignorance and assumptions, built out of fear, indolence and lack of knowledge.
It will be the BREAK OF A NEW DAWN.
It may appear difficult to comprehend today, hard to appreciate and may even sound unreasonable today. But the fact of the matter, is that Naija has a date with history, come February 2023.
The old war horses of the old order have no idea that the tempo, beat and rhythm of the music has changed, and that accordingly, a new dance step is required. They do not believe that the awareness in the land today would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to succesfully pull off the usual gambits they have mastered and deployed in the past, to have their way always. They do not know, and if told, would not believe that they truly need to upgrade their app and software, as the old format has expired and suddenly become obsolete. They are unaware of the degree of anger in the land. They have no idea how woke the younger generation are today. They assume it will be business as usual. After all, they control the instruments of coercion and have limitless resources at their disposal.
Truth is: they must download, upgrade, install and, adapt with the latest app in order to acquaint themselves with the reality of the moment. They do not know what time it is.
Over 40 million unemployed youngsters will teach them the lesson of their lives. They will shockingly realise what time it is. You can take this to the bank.
It will be impossible for them to give convincing explanation to why a greatly endowed land of 206 million gifted, skilled and talented individuals, blessed with liquid gold, huge manpower, untapped mineral resources and great flora and fauna over a large expanse of land, the envy of the world, has only been gradually, steadily and unrepentantly driven to a failed state status, where it is impossible to travel by air, rail, road and sea. Where folks are kidnapped in their homes at night and in broad daylight. Where the Naira is slowly becoming worthless and bread out of reach. Where the poor can’t afford cooking gas, diesel, pms and kerosene. Where the leaders educate and train their kids overseas, treat themselves overseas and shop overseas, while the land decays.
Where the opposition party has been silenced and the Chief opposition party depends on activists to critic the Government, while the opposition crawl at night to seek for favours from the uninspiring Government they are scared to criticise. And absurdities rule the land. Unacceptable horrors are condoned. Where the political class cleverly split themselves into different political parties with no distinguishing ideologies. Where unreasonable external borrowing has plunged unborn children into debt.
A land where mediocrity and visionless leadership has established where mediocrity and visionless leadership has established sectionalism, nepotism, sectarianism, ethnic and religious differences as a way of life. A land where speaking truth to power may cost one his life. A land where sleaze, prebendalism and winner-takes-all culture are not only condoned, but celebrated. A country that ought to be the leading light, sadly crippled and paralysed, by mismanagement and poor leadership, and mocked by the world, which describes her as the most corrupt country in the world.
As the aggrieved youngsters and all genuinely concerned citizens troop out in February 2023, to define the future of their grandchildren, they will discover how deeply entrenched the forces they will contend with really are. They will realise that the indolence of many decades won’t make change possible. They’ll note with shock that tolerating inanity for too long, only strengthened the exploiters. They’ll discover that poverty and hunger makes honour and integrity difficult and even impossible. They’ll see that vote-buying, perfidy and other evils such as ethnic and religious bigotry will be exploited by the powerful old guard to cling to power. Then, will they realise that tolerating the old guard for too long has strengthened the corrupt old guard and weakened the exploited masses.
Then will they realise the meaning of THE MAGIC OF FEBRUARY 2023.
As I await the eye opening polls with a bag of popcorn, I wonder how the weeping and wailing will look like. How the results will shock over-confident compatriots who are so sure today that the pendulum must certainly swing their way. I plead to all to prepare their minds to accept the bitter lesson of February 2023, build on it for a better future, even as we all await the inevitable restructuring of Naija.
I happen to know certain folks who played key role in watering the ground by creating awareness that inspired those who opened the eyes of those who woke up the younger generation. I know that 2023 elections will be like no other.