The Nigerian presidential elections on Saturday, February 25, 2023, were met with great excitement and optimism. Nigerians expected a process that would strengthen government, advance democracy, and address the myriad difficulties that the country was currently facing. When the dust settled and the results were made public, it was evident that the elections were flawed and had a negative influence on the citizenry. This essay goes deeply into these concerns, showing the various ways in which the elections disappointed and harmed Nigerians' daily lives.
Incorrect election results
One of the most obvious difficulties was the incidence of serious voting infractions during the Nigerian presidential elections in 2023. These irregularities ranged from vote fraud and voter suppression to stuffing ballot boxes and scaring voters. Reports of voter suppression were especially disturbing because so many people were banned from exercising their democratic right to vote. This not only compromises the credibility of the election, but also hinders a sizable percentage of the population from exercising their right to vote.
Transparency was a major subject in the recent elections. Unfortunately, the Nigerian presidential elections in 2023 were not successful in this regard. Access to critical data on the voter registration process, the development of voter lists, and the administration of election materials were all strong indicators of transparency difficulties. When citizens are kept in the dark and there is a lack of transparency, their trust in the democratic process suffers.
Violence and conflict
The run-up to the 2023 elections in many parts of Nigeria was marked by violence and insecurity. Conflicts between competing political factions and voter intimidation punctuated violent political rallies and campaign activities. In several locations, security forces have been accused of employing excessive force and violating human rights. The pervasive sense of anxiety not only kept citizens from voting, but also endangered their lives and well-being.
Rights Deprivation for Vulnerable Groups
Women, young people, and internally displaced people (IDPs) had the most difficulty voting in the 2023 presidential elections. Cultural and societal standards regularly restricted women's political participation, and young people were frequently excluded from decision-making procedures. Furthermore, because of their displacement and the lack of voting infrastructure in their camps, a huge number of IDPs were unable to vote. Because their demands were not met, these groups were further marginalized within Nigerian culture.
Religious and ethnic disparities become politicized.
The 2023 elections exacerbated the racial and religious tensions that have long plagued Nigerian politics. Politicians exploited these differences to obtain support from people, frequently employing language that pitted one ethnic or religious group against another. This deepened social divides while also increasing instability and bloodshed across the country.
The political uncertainty preceding the 2023 elections had a negative influence on Nigeria's economy. Foreign investors have refrained from investing in the country due to concerns about instability and the risk of post-election violence. As a result, foreign direct investment fell and economic growth slowed. The economic hardship caused by the elections had a direct impact on the daily lives of many Nigerians, many of whom were already trying to make ends meet.
Nigeria's presidential elections in 2023 dramatically eroded popular trust in the country's institutions. Many individuals began to question the impartiality of the judges and lost faith in the electoral commission's ability to hold free and fair elections. When citizens lose faith in their institutions, it becomes more difficult to develop a sense of national unity and cooperate toward common goals.
Violence on Election Day
Following the elections, there were a number of violent outbreaks across Nigeria. Supporters of defeated candidates took to the streets to protest the results, causing clashes between different political groupings and law officials. This post-election violence resulted in injuries, property destruction, and a general sense of disquiet among the general public.
The Nigerian presidential elections in 2023 were hampered by numerous blunders, which had a negative impact on the public. Election irregularities, a lack of transparency, violence and insecurity, the disenfranchisement of vulnerable groups, the politicization of racial and religious differences, economic hardship, a decline in trust in institutions, and post-election violence all contributed to a seriously flawed electoral process. These issues have a long-term influence on the lives of Nigerians, as well as weakening the democratic values that underpin the country's political structure.
If Nigeria is to progress, it must confront these challenges head on. Electoral changes are essential to ensure that the electoral process is open, unbiased, and inclusive. Any infractions committed by security forces must be notified, and appropriate action must be taken.