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A Peep Into 2003 (Posted 14th Mar, 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

2003 is some two years away but most Nigerians are already talking about it. This is not for nothing. It is a year that will see the stiffest test for the country’s current democratic experiment. That year the first general elections will take place. The election is very important for Nigerians. Democracy is not just about allowing the will of the people to prevail but concluding a free and fair election and democratic transition. Nigeria in its 41 years of nationhood has not succeeded in conducting a free and fair election under a civilian regime. It is 2003 that will determine whether the spirit of fair play that should characterise elections would prevail.

Elections 2003 Website

As the countdown begins, various groups and coalition are already staking claim to the important political positions in the country. The ruling Peoples Democratic party, PDP is already saying that Olusegun Obasanjo would be allowed to run for a second term. Barnabas Gemade, the chairman of the party believes that Obasanjo is doing well and has the potentials of winning a second term. Recently, Abubakar Atiku, the vice president debunked claims in some quarters that he was gearing up for the presidency.

The vice president had continued to feature in several write ups with insinuation that he was positioning himself for the Nation’s number one job. Another name, which is becoming increasingly prominent in the political calculations, is that of Ibrahim Babangida, former head of state. Of late, Babangida-for-President brigades have mounted subtle and open campaigns. Though Babangida has denied this, nobody seems to believe him. Babangida supervised the ill-fated transition programme that ended disastrously for the country in 1993. The General along with his cohorts annulled the election won by late Moshood Kashimowo Abiola. Most Nigerians had not forgotten his role in what later turned out to be the darkest era of Nigerian history, after the civil war in the 1960s.

Babangida last year organised a seminar in Jos about his eight-year tenure as Nigeria’s Head of State and its contributions to the country. Governors, Ministers and other people who serve in his administration attended the seminar. Critics say the seminar was put in place as part of the efforts to tamper with history and present Babangida in a new light. It is clear that Babangida will face a lot of opposition from Nigerians who still hold him responsible for the rot in the country. A number of organisations and individuals have come out to condemn the very idea of Babangida contemplating ruling the country again. Some have even said they will oppose and work against any attempt by Babangida to rule the country again. Ultimately however, it is the people that will decide the fate of the General.

All Regions Laying A Claim To The Presidency

Indeed 2003 would not be easy for any of the gladiators. The Igbos of the Southeast are seriously laying claim to the presidency. The Igbos are saying that they are the one that should be allowed to rule Nigeria next. Orji Uzor Kalu, the governor of Abia State is leading the Igbo challenge. The governor has been telling everybody that there will be fire and brimstone should the Igbos be denied the golden opportunity.

Other groups in the North, the South-south and even in the South-west are also saying they will take a shut at the presidency. Whatever happens, it is very clear that the 2003 elections will shape the future of the country democratic experiment.

Elections 2003 Website

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