TWO Two key events during this week gave a clear indication that the 2023 presidential and general election will be in the words of a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega “epochal”.
That Prof Jega was not being hyperbolic was confirmed in a projection by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released days earlier. Alarmingly, the IMF projects that by 2023, Nigeria will be spending about 92kobo of every naira it earns on servicing its growing debt, only 8kobo will be left for the purpose of development.
Facing a stark reality, Prof Jega addressing a conference said the country faces the possibility of “total collapse”. 2023, from his perspective, could be the “make or break moment”.
Jega’s anecdote to the crises is to call for “a broad alliance of progressive forces for national rescue to get Nigeria out of the present unwholesome predicament in which it finds itself “.
Prof Jega is proffering a sensible solution here. The build up to the 2023 has been hitherto most uninspiring. The focus has been on the search for a redeeming figure to clean up the Augean stables. Unfortunately for this school of thought, the great man theory of history was discredited ages ago.
The country does not need a “great man”, it needs a very well worked out, rigorously costed programme of social and economic reconstruction. This is the only way to confront its myriad of existential crises on many fronts.
Jega is also correct to call for a coalescing of progressive forces around such a reinvigorating programme. It is difficult to project a feasible alternative to Jega’s position and it should be explored, fine-tuned and deepened. We are really up and against it.