[#YNaijaEssays] The good, the bad and the ugly: What the Nigerian elections really cost

There are few events that can come to define a nation’s identity quite like how it approaches elections. This is because elections expose the priorities and motives of the men and women who seek to lead their country and reveals the electorate’s ethno-religious biases. This is true, even for long-established democracies in seemingly progressive countries as the Brexit Vote in the UK and the 2016 elections that saw white America rebel against being governed by a person of colour by electing Donald Trump into office. As we begin the slow climb towards what is already shaping up to be a pivotal election year in Nigeria’s history, we at YNaija feel it is important to return to the past, study it, and learn from the mistakes we have already made and lived through. 

Do we truly understand what is at stake that we get this particular election right?

We will look at the true cost of Nigerian elections through a series of themed vignettes, and the ripple effect they have had on our people.  

THE FINANCIAL COST OF AN ELECTION

Whether you want to admit it or not, elections are a big deal in Nigeria – indeed, the rest of the world. However, peculiarly, Nigerian elections are something that rise to a super climax, creating tension, bloody fights, back and forth accusations and then the ‘journey’ begins.

Ekiti seems to be unique in every sense of a typical Nigerian election and it is a state of many paradoxes. For instance, since May 1999, Ekiti has had the highest number of governors and probably only Dr. Kayode Fayemi may have succeeded in running a full four-year term, apart from Ayodele Fayose, who is about to complete his own tenure.

Ekiti is a home for the highly educated but also harbours many “Do or Die politicians”. It is a state in a class of its own and therefore mysterious things have happened in it right from May 29, 2003 (or earlier) when Fayose became governor – allegedly installed by the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo so he could have an in-road to the state.

In 2006, unconfirmed reports say that Obasanjo had a personal scuffle with Fayose and before Nigerians knew it, a state of emergency was declared and an administrator (Tunji Olurin) put in his stead.

Fast forward to May 29, 2007, Segun Oni became governor. Dr. Kayode Fayemi at the Election Petition Tribunal in Ekiti rigorously challenged Oni’s emergence as governor. Oni was briefly led out of office after the Court of Appeal nullified the decision of a lower court after the April 2007 general election.

After three and a half years in court, on October 15, 2010, the Appeal Court sitting in Kwara declared Fayemi the duly elected governor, and that marked the end of Oni‘s administration as the then Governor of the state. That decision upturned the credence that sitting governors in Nigeria “cannot lose an election” neither “can they be impeached”.

This arrogance made Fayemi quite complacent in the 2014 elections when he faced a Fayose who had the backing of the Federal Government. Fayemi might have borrowed confidence from the fact that Fayose had in 2011, lost a senatorial election to Senator Babafemi Ojudu. However, the then President, Goodluck Jonathan also wanted to use Fayose to gain prominence in the South-West. Besides, there were Federal Government funds to throw around.

To emerge the winner in the 2014 Ekiti elections, Fayose polled 203,090 votes, winning the highest number of votes in all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state. The then Governor Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), came a distant second, garnering 120,433 votes.

All these points are signifiers of the fact that without money and power, you are heading for a rock in any Nigerian election – even for a councillor position.

Without mincing words, elections are expensive events. Besides the huge financial expenditure required by the electoral management body and security agencies to organise the elections, candidates contesting elections spend enormous sums of money in campaigns across the length and breadth of every polling unit.

Although Nigeria’s electoral laws often contain campaign spending limits, neither the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nor anybody in Nigeria is capable of monitoring campaign spending to know whether the candidates keep within or exceed the limits. For instance, the 2010 Electoral Act put the spending limit for candidates for governorship positions at N200 million. But what do we see?

In the Ekiti elections, the Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Kolawole Aluko, confessed that he played a major role in the 2014 governorship election that brought Fayose to power. He claimed that former President Goodluck Jonathan and his minister of state for Defence, Musliu Obanikoro spent more than $37 million (N5,819,730000 in 2014) to rig Fayose into office.

In an article by Tolu Ogunlesi, there was a report about an okada rider who said civil servants complained bitterly about how Fayemi made it impossible for them to ‘take’ money from government coffers – something that was done freely during Fayose’s previous tenure as governor. Besides that, Fayose had come with one agenda: provision of stomach infrastructure. Nigerians (no offence intended) love the sound of that. A stroll to an area where rice and one litre of oil is distributed will convince you.

Money is crucial for political parties to implement activities during elections and between elections. Fayose understood that and used that to win -or is it rig?- the elections. The people were ready and willing to accept one small gift thinking it will continue after that. Or how does one convince an okada rider who says ‘money is not flowing, let us accept this one and vote the guy’ to reject such deceit when he’s completely persuaded that real infrastructure does not bring food to the table?

 

THE HUMAN COST OF A NIGERIAN ELECTION

When we talk about the cost of elections in Nigeria, justice cannot be done to such discourse without making reference to the politics of ethnicity and geopolitical zoning in Nigeria. This is because, the power brokers in Nigeria across parties, in searching for a winning formula employ a number of tactics to gain public sympathy, garner votes and usually fashion their campaign strategies around ethnic sentiments and religion.

While this may have been (and is still) the case for decades at all levels of the Nigerian polity, the readiest example that captures how radical this concept could be, is the emergence of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as the 13th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is almost common knowledge that the erstwhile ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on ascension to power in 1999 adopted a strategy of rotational candidacy between the country’s regions (North and South) over a period of two terms each, in order to sustain its continued stay in power, and went ahead to entrench it in its constitution. A notable chieftain of the party is reputed to have even said that the party would rule the country for 60 years!  And so, with the tenure of (former) President Olusegun Obasanjo coming to an end soon, and having zoned its presidential ticket to the North to balance up the 8 years spent by a president of Southern extraction, the party commenced the search for a candidate from the North (because of its large voting population) that could garner the required votes and guarantee its stay at the State House. President Obasanjo and the party had initially encouraged the governors under its platform to throw their hats into the ring, but not long after, abandoned that plan and went on to set up a Committee to carry out the search.

Meanwhile, the country had in 2003 witnessed the entrance into the political scene of former military dictator, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) who although ran for the presidency against President Olusegun Obasanjo in that year and lost, introduced Nigerians to the cult-like support he enjoyed from the North despite being in the opposition, and as such became a threat to any would-be contender for that office in the future based on the momentum he was building.

Considering the ‘Buhari factor’, the party’s committee heeded to the then President’s directive and approached Umaru Musa Yar’adua, outgoing Governor of Katsina (who hailed from the same state and ethno-religious background with General Buhari), who reportedly turned down the offer to contest for the Presidency with the backing of Obasanjo, citing health issues he was battling and a desire to return to the classroom, having been offered an appointment at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. According to Governor Ayodele Fayose, head of PDP’s National Committee, which searched for the party’s presidential candidate in the 2007 election, Yar’adua was assured it was nothing to worry about as funds (state funds) were available to take care of his health and the Presidential Nomination form for the party was bought for him.

It is important to note that Umaru Yar’Adua was largely perceived as humble. He was the only Nigerian governor to publicly declare his assets before he was sworn in, in 1999 and again, before his re-inauguration in 2003 for a second term as governor of Katsina. Added to the fact that he came from a family with a strong political legacy and well-loved across Northern Nigeria. Umaru’s father was a First Republic Minister for Lagos Affairs and his elder brother Shehu Musa Yar’adua, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters under General Olusegun Obasanjo’s military government as well as a leading Presidential Candidate in the third republic. It appeared that a candidate of such stature and credentials from such political ancestry was a well-thought-out strategy.

Eventually, Umaru Yar’adua won the PDP primaries and the Presidential election (with 24,638,063 votes) thereafter, defeating General Buhari, who had 6,605,299 votes and Atiku Abubakar (with 2,637,848 votes) on April 23, 2007, in an election widely described as massively rigged and short of international standards.  In line with the image he had sold to Nigerians, Yar’adua conceded that the elections that saw him rise to power were rigged and promised reforms to sanitise the system, paving way for him to gain public acceptance. He was well loved, but concerns about his health began to mount as the new president spent less and less time actually ruling. It became a major topic of discourse in every corner of the country especially after he purportedly collapsed during one of the campaign tours.

All through his stay in office, while President Yar’Adua went to great lengths to assure the electorate that he was in perfect health, even going as far as releasing a now infamous video of him playing squash. The rumours about his health battles lingered until November 2009 when he was suddenly airlifted to Saudi Arabia for medical attention, with no prior information to neither the citizenry, nor the national legislature, thus creating a dangerous power vacuum as he failed to hand over power to the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan.

What initially appeared as a temporary issue and was explained away to the electorate as a sudden illness stretched uncomfortably, raising agitations across the country. The president’s sudden disappearance and the ensuing vacuum meant governance fell to the control of his ‘kitchen cabinet’ comprising Yar’Adua’s wife, Turai, Adamu Aliero, the then minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Michael Aondoakaa, the then Attorney General of the Federation.

These actors were most powerful and as such called the shots, so much so that Jonathan did not even wield the influence they had and while he confessed that he did not know his boss’ whereabouts, members of the kitchen cabinet had full brief about development. It was apparent that there was a clear attempt by certain interests, regardless of the president’s inability to rule to prevent the Vice President from ascending power in protection of the Northern mandate.

The country was in confusion and civil society groups led by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), as well as the opposition intensified protests against the actors and championed the course for Jonathan to be sworn in as acting president

A development that continued until February 9, 2010, when the Senate controversially used the “doctrine of necessity” to transfer presidential powers to Jonathan, and declared him Acting President following a Supreme Court ruling on January 22, 2010, that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) within 14 days decide a resolution on whether Yar’Adua was “incapable of discharging the functions of his office”.

Yar’Adua having been smuggled into the country at night on one occasion without the knowledge of the Acting President, passed on two months after, paving way for Jonathan to be sworn into office as the substantive President.

Yar’Adua became the fourth Nigerian leader but the first elected president to die in office of a disease or assassination.

 

THE POLITICAL COST OF A NIGERIAN ELECTION

“Sequel to the resignation of the former head of the Interim National Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief Ernest Shonekan and my subsequent appointment as Head of State and Commander in Chief, I have had extensive consultations within the Armed Forces hierarchy and other well-meaning Nigerians in a bid to find solution to the various political, economic and social problems which have engulfed our beloved country and which have made life most difficult to the ordinary citizens of this nation.

“Chief Ernest Shonekan took over as Head of State and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces at the most trying time in the history of our country. Politically, economically and socially, there were lots of uncertainty. Things appeared bleak and the atmosphere was heavy with uncertainty. However, driven by the belief in himself, his countrymen and love for his country he accepted to face the challenges of our time. I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him for his selfless service to the nation. He showed great courage by taking on the daunting task of heading the Interim National Government, even a greater task of knowing when to leave.

“Many have expressed fears about the apparent return of the Military. Many have talked about the concern of the International Community. However, under the present circumstances, the survival of our beloved country is far above any consideration. Nigeria is the only country we have; we must, therefore, solve our problems ourselves. We must lay a solid foundation for the growth of true democracy. We should avoid any ad-hoc or temporary solution. The problem must be addressed firmly, objectively, decisively and with all sincerity of purpose. Consequently, the following decisions come into immediate effect.

“The Interim National Government is hereby dissolved. The National and State Assemblies are also dissolved. The State Executive Council is dissolved. The Brigade Commanders are to take over from the Governors in their states until administrators are appointed. Where there are no Brigade Commanders, the Commissioners of Police are to take over. All local governments stand dissolved. The Directors of Personnel are to take over the administration of the local governments until administrators are appointed. The National Electoral Government is hereby dissolved. All former secretaries to Federal Ministries are to hand over to their Director Generals until Ministers are appointed. The two political parties are hereby dissolved. All processions, political meetings and associations of any type in any part of the country are hereby banned. Any consultative committee by whatever name called is hereby proscribed. Decree 61 of 1993 is hereby abrogated.

“The Provisional Ruling Council is hereby established. It will comprise:

The Head of State, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces as Chairman

The Chief of General Staff as Vice-Chairman

The Honorable Minister of Defence

The Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs

Inspector General of Police

Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Internal Affairs Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and the National Security Adviser.

States will be governed by civilian administrators to be appointed later. Also, a Federal Executive Council will be put in place.

“Our security system will be enhanced to ensure that lives of citizens, property of individuals are protected and preserved. Drug trafficking and other economic crimes such as 419 must be tackled and eliminated. On the current strike throughout the nation following the increase in the price of fuel, I appeal to all the trade unions to return to work immediately. We cannot afford further dislocation and destruction of our economy. On the closed media houses, government is hereby lifting the order of proscription with immediate effect. We, however, appeal to the media houses that in this spirit of national reconciliation, we should show more restraint and build a united and peaceful Nigeria.

“Fellow Nigerians, the events of the past months, starting from the annulment of the June 12 presidential election, culminating in the appointment of the former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan, who unfortunately resigned yesterday, are well known to you. The economic downturn has undoubtedly been aggravated by the ongoing political crisis.

“We require well thought-out and permanent solutions to these problems if we are to emerge stronger from them. Consequently, a constitutional conference with full constituent powers will be established soon to determine the future constitutional structure of Nigeria. The Constitutional Conference will also recommend the method of forming parties, which will lead to the ultimate recognition of political parties formed by the people. While the conference is on, the reorganisation and reform of the following major institutions will be carried out:

The Military
The Police
The Customs
The Judiciary
NITEL
NNPC
NEPA
The Banking Industry
Higher Educational Institutions


“This regime will be firm, humane, and decisive. We will not condone nor tolerate any act of indiscipline. Any attempt to test our will be decisively dealt with. For the International Community, we ask that you suspend judgment while we grapple with the onerous task of nation building, reconciliation and repairs. This government is a child of necessity with a strong determination to restore peace and stability to our country and on these foundations, enthrone a lasting and true democracy. Give us the chance to solve our problems in our own ways.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Reproduced above is General Sani Abacha’s speech delivered on the 17th of November, 1993, following the purported resignation of Ernest Shonekan, who held power as the Head of the Interim National Government. In the next five years of his rule, Nigeria became a wrecking ball of corruption, oppression, insecurity and uncertainty as Abacha was bent on holding on to power by any means necessary, jailing the likes of Brigadier Lawan Gwadabe, the longest-serving governor during the Babangida regime; General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd); his former deputy, General Musa Yar’Adua; elder statesman Chief Anthony Enahoro; Chief Frank Kokori, General Secretary of NUPENG; Chief M.K.O. Abiola and others between June 1994 and May 1998 for myriad reasons including an alleged coup plot against the Abacha government and charges of treason respectively.

Things went from dire to worse as Nigerians tried to survive one of the most brutal regimes ever until the Head of State met his death on June 08, 1998, at the hands of two foreign prostitutes, according to the grapevine. Officially, though, Abacha suffered a cardiac arrest. Following his death, his former Chief of Defence Staff Abdulsalam Abubakar succeeded him. Suddenly finding himself in a very different world from the one in which Abacha had ruled, Abubakar was quick to realise that he needed to facilitate a return to democratic rule. He established the Independent National Electoral Commission, adopted a new Constitution (the 1999 Constitution) and handed over power after a year to Olusegun Obasanjo, fresh out of jail.

Olusegun Obasanjo, albeit cut from the same cloth as Abacha and Abdulsalam, being a former Military ruler himself between 1976 and 1979, had a number of things going for him that saw to his emergence as the second democratically elected President of Nigeria. One, he was the first Military Head of State to hand over power to the first democratically elected civilian government in 1979. Although that debut attempt was quickly nullified by the Muhammadu Buhari coup, Obasanjo had scored himself much-needed goodwill that made his reinvention as a lover of all things democratic possible. Furthermore, Obasanjo had resigned from the Army after he relinquished power, and become a staunch critic of military administrations especially Abacha’s government, earning him widespread credibility as well as life imprisonment under the dictator, which was later commuted to 15 years. Eventually, he spent 3 years, 3 months and 3 days in prison, thanks to the grim reapers visit on Abacha. Even better, Obasanjo ‘found God’ in prison and gained the respect of the international community for throwing his weight behind the clamour to end white minority rule in South Africa and Zimbabwe, supporting instead neighbouring states such as Angola and Mozambique and arguing that democratic rule should be a precondition for membership of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

For all his whitewashed reputation, Obasanjo’s administration was not devoid of human rights abuses just like that of his comrades. During his military regime, he set up the notorious secret detention centre in Ita-Oko, a 4-square-mile island 60 miles outside of Lagos, accessible only by boat and helicopter where critics of Nigeria’s military rulers were thrown and forgotten. Obasanjo has since refuted the allegation that Ita-Oko was run as a prison under his watch. According to him, it was set up as a work farm run by the Ministry of Agriculture. Even so, Obasanjo was complicit in the invasion and razing of the home and business premises of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the late iconic Afrobeats musician who was an ardent critic of his military government.

There’s also the matter of the ludicrous levels of corruption by General Muhammadu Buhari, then Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund during Obasanjo’s regime. Although, reportedly, N182 billion came into the coffers of the PTF from its inception in March 1994 until it was scrapped in 1999, over 25 billion of the ‘oil money’ was unaccounted for, prompting the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) Interim Management Committee set up to investigate the agency’s mismanagement to advise Obasanjo to set up a high powered judicial panel to recover the huge public fund and to take necessary action against any officer, consultant or contractor whose negligence resulted in this colossal loss of public funds.” Confronted with this damning evidence of massive corruption under his nose, Obasanjo still absolved Buhari of fraud allegations, stating thus:

“I haven’t said this publicly, I would say it publicly now. When we looked into it, there was really nothing amiss except that that organisation went from road building to mosquito net-buying and all sorts of things.

“And what the investigation discovered is a bit of inconsistency in prices and all that. In one area, mosquito net might have been given for N50; in another, N45. And I then remarked that this is fishy. We should look into it.

“And I called my brother and colleague (Buhari), I said see this and he said ‘look we are managing billions of Naira and I tried to make sure I see everything. But I will not say that what they have said about this is correct or not correct. But I can assure you, I tried to see everything.’

“I said okay Muhammadu, between me, you and God, was there any personal benefit for you? And you said ‘no.’ I said that is the end of the matter.

“Although there was that investigation, its report was not of any material importance.”

It’s therefore interesting that the two ex-Heads of State, one the serving President of Nigeria, are currently involved in a political tussle over 2019, causing them both to aim missiles from their pasts, including the alleged mismanaged 16 billion naira power project fund between 1999 and 2007 when Obasanjo was a civilian president, an allegation Obasanjo argues was put to bed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2017, when they cleared him of all wrongdoing.

But who can forget Odi massacre, a mission approved by President Obasanjo on 20th November 1999 to level the Ijaw town in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa completely. As Osita Nwajah puts it, “Only a church and a bank building survived the operation. Nothing which had life — man or animal — was moving. They were either dead or in hiding in the bushes.”

If anything proved that Obasanjo was still a military man merely dressed in civilian garb, this was it. He would go on to launch similar strikes in the Niger Delta – Choba, Igwuruta, Biogbolo as well as Zaki Biam in Benue.

Somehow, after Obasanjo left power for good, he evolved into Nigeria’s unofficial kingmaker, installing and dethroning successors with aplomb, his crimes completely forgiven and forgotten; but all that might turn on a dime as OBJ’s dominance in Nigeria’s political sphere is for the first time being threatened.

There is much to be said for our decision to re-elect not one but two successive presidents who have previously ruled the country as military dictators, but one thing is clear, as an electorate we must believe that only a ruthless president/leader can truly lead our country.

 

 

THE MORAL COST OF A NIGERIAN ELECTION

After the death of his principal, Jonathan assumed the saddle of leadership as president for the remainder of Yar’Adua’s tenure. Campaigning on the ‘I had no shoes’ mantra, Jonathan with 22,495,187 votes defeated his closest contender, Muhammadu Buhari, who polled 12,214,853 votes. But Jonathan’s victory was not without help. At the heart of his campaign was Red Media, a communications agency saddled with the responsibility of preserving Jonathan’s public image and building an infallible brand around him. And Jonathan sure needed some help. Despite being the incumbent president and running on the platform of the ruling party, he was from a minority ethnic group. It was clear to everyone involved this campaign. With profound knowledge of new media, the youth demographic and communications they helped Jonathan reach the electorate where they held congress and pitched a very convincing proposal for our very first civilian only government. In the end, Jonathan emerged victorious and thus began his four-year rule as president.

Jonathan launched the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) on October 11, 2011. YOUWIN provided opportunities for young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 with creative energies with funds to fund their ideas and businesses. On January 1, 2012, Jonathan’s administration announced to the surprise of the entire country the end to the removal of the subsidy, a decision that would eventually become his albatross. The removal of subsidy led to nationwide protests across the country. Nigerians united across the country shutting down the economy and urging the federal government to rescind the decision. After days of pressure, Jonathan succumbed to the will of the people. Feeling betrayed by his government and distrustful of his motives, the electorate began the process of disengaging from the Jonathan-led government and seeking a suitable replacement. It didn’t matter that Jonathan went on to initiate several capital projects, his legacy had already begun the downward spiral. It didn’t help that religious extremist group Boko Haram reached the peak of its influence during Jonathan’s regime, or that Jonathan refused to handle the Boko Haram war with the urgency it deserved. Jonathan had one of the most corrupt administrations in the nation’s history and refused to address as legitimate, the anger in the land due to his maladministration.

With Nigerians tired of the continued killings, the monumental corruption, the need for a change in the Aso Rock leadership was sought, and StateCraft Inc stepped in. Established just before the 2011 elections, StateCraft was tasked with the near insurmountable of objective a total rebranding of Buhari’s image, as it helped make Buhari more likeable to the citizenry. Buhari, a retired general with a seeming track record of heavy-handed actions geared towards eliminating corruption was reinvented for an electorate born in the age of social media and ready to overthrow governments. This concerted effort helped melt the hearts of some who had issues with Buhari’s past and his disciplinarian style as Head of State and paved the way for his entry into a second try at governance as a civilian president.

Buhari stepped to the plate with his campaign speeches promising to tackle corruption, grow the economy and ensure the security of the nation, especially the Northeast, ravaged by the Boko Haram war. With growing discontent for Jonathan’s administration, Nigerians at the polls voted for Buhari, making him the first individual to oust a sitting president in the country’s history – a victory for Nigerians, Buhari and for StateCraft. A similar feat was achieved in Ghana, when the opposition candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo defeated incumbent John Mahama. StateCraft had set its foot as the undeniable thought-leader and go-to company for election strategy across the continent.

Buhari emerged president with some much promise. But the reverse has been the case as many Nigerians have been left disappointed with his administration’s penchant for blaming previous governments for the nation’s woes. There’s no denying the fact that Nigeria has been badly run since independence, however, Buhari was elected on the mantra of change with the belief that he will bring the required turnaround to the nation’s affairs. Has that been the case?

Not exactly.

Buhari contested for the presidency on four occasions, a statistic that would ordinarily suggest that he should have a plan for the nation. But does he? The contrary seems to be the case. He has failed on many of his campaign promises. He has been bogged down by poor health, spending a good amount of time in the United Kingdom with his doctors. The Boko Haram terrorist group has been reduced to attacks here and there, but the fact remains that they still terrorise the nation sometimes, with attacks varying from kidnappings to suicide bombings. Buhari’s decision to appoint ministers  six months into his administration showed a clear lack of vision and direction. His indecision on the economic roadmap plunged the country into recession. But Buhari’s abysmal performance as president has not just affected his credibility with the Nigerian electorate, it has also spread to mar the reputations of many of his staunchest supporters and advocates. There are many victims of Buhari’s non-starter government, many high profile social and political activists who held out for as long as humanly possible, before being forced to either publicly withdraw their support for the Buhari-led government or at least return to neutral stance. No government can ascend to power without visible advocates, willing to bridge the gap between a distrustful electorate and an optimistic candidate, but the aftermath of the 2015 elections have proven that anyone can be sold a pipe dream.

2019 is around the corner and electioneering is here again, Nigerians are on the brink of choosing yet another leader. With the signing of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, the youth have an opportunity at a shot for the presidency. What will be the cost of the 2019 election?

Disclaimer:

YNaija.com is a part of the RED company, which has Statecraft Inc. and Red Media Africa as subsidiaries.

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