It is 85 days to the 2023 general election, and as Nigeria prepares to hold its 7th consecutive general election since returned to democracy in 1999, the presidential poll has been described as one of the most anticipated in the history of a country.
The number of Nigerians that might vote in the election has increased, given the large number of people who registered for their PVCs.
According to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission, 95 million Nigerians will vote in next year’s presidential polls. Nigerians want INEC to conduct a free, fair and credible election that will produce the president of their choice, and Cross River state Governor Ben Ayade is lending his voice to that call.
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Governor Ben Ayade who spoke on the fast approaching general elections said he shares the same sentiments with Nigerians who say the 2023 election is not like every other election we have had in the country as it has a high expectation.
He said the 2023 election will be actually a watershed in our history as it is an election that is characterised by a very super robust and well-structured INEC with a BVAS system, almost solid proof, with the change in currency, also refusing and denying the luxury of the facilitation of election processes with money.
According to the executive governor of Rivers state, the 2023 polls will indeed, be a full test case of a professional electioneering process where the votes will now count in truth without inducement either by money or other material considerations.
“I think it will be a classical departure from the past”.
Speaking on how he will combine all his activities as well as navigating the upcoming elections in delivering his party, the All Progessives Congress, Governor Ayade said the structural automatic framework to deliver all of these elections is fixed within a calculation prism that allows you a sophisticated planning that you can fix all these given the time frame.
He claims that there will be two elections: one, on the day when the National Assembly and presidential elections take place, and another two weeks later when the state elections take place.
“In essence, the planning involves holding two elections. So it appears to be very intricate and difficult, but with a little science and knowledge, it becomes lot simpler.
On the experience of the party’s Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu whom he recently said was the most experienced among the candidates seeking to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ayade stated that when you’ve never been there, it always looks easier, always easier from the distance.
According to him, experience remains the best teacher.
” If you’ve never been in government, it’s easier to stay and criticise. Bola Tinubu has been a governor of Lagos state. experientially he’s been tested. He has a recruitment process that guarantees confidence.
“Asiwaju is not somebody who is driven by ethnic sensitivity. He is one governor when he was that had commissioners from outside of the Lagos state.
“Asiwaju has a style that he has his eyes on and hands ready, which means he delegates, but he is sensitive and ready to take over and take charge when there is a system failure. I think that the best way you can test somebody is to run a small system like a government. Then you can really appraise.
“Moving an economy comes with a lot of robust experience especially when you’re able to move an economy’s IGR from six billion naira to 60 billion naira, setting up a roadmap for Lagos that today is almost the fourth largest economy in Africa.
“In cumulative sense, I think he comes with a gamut of experience that you can’t take away. The amount of intellect that you need to drive a system at that level is far more than the amount of physical energy. What you need is a thought process, the ability to be able to select, the recruitment process, selection of competent hands irrespective of ethnic or religious bias which is what Asiwaju Tinubu has in excess,” the governor added.