2023 Elections: Nigeria In An Anomalous Situation – Cardinal Onaiyekan

The cleric argued that it does not make much sense to be swearing-in people when they are still in court.


The Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has said that Nigeria is currently in a quagmire with regards to the 2023 general election and the fate of its next president. 

Cardinal Onaiyekan who on Thursday was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said it is uncertain if the elections are truly over as some may claim, seeing that there are so many cases still lingering in the courts.

“We are in an anomalous situation, we have a declared president-elect whose election is being challenged and the courts are handling it.

“I think I am entitled to take the position that I am still waiting for the courts to tell me who won the election,” the cleric opined.

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He argued that it does not make much sense to be swearing-in people when they are still in court, adding that there needs to be an urgent review of  the nation’s electoral process as to ensure that a winner will be sworn-in whom everybody will rally around.

The Archbishop said it is a pity that the courts are taking so long to make up their minds on the 2023 presidency matter, hence, the reason a proper view of the election system has become imperative.

According to him, a proper review of the system will see to the emergence of winners in line with the wishes of the people.

Speaking further on the nation’s polity, Cardinal Onaiyekan said basic questions still linger as regards what the nation really wants as regards governance and those who rule; one of such questions being – “Do we really want Democracy?”.

In his opinion, many of the political actors are not interested in democracy, “they want power by all means,” the pulpitarian stressed.

He said this is why many politicians today are only looking to manipulate the system and frustrate the wishes of the people, because they have the resources.

While noting the country cannot wait indefinitely for the courts to decide who the winner of the presidential election is, the Cardinal said the process the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should have worked on was one that would bring out a winner that is acceptable to the people.

In proffering solutions as to stop elections from consistently being contested in court, the Archbishop asserted that Nigeria must take a second look at the constitution of the INEC, asking how independent is the electoral umpire and how will the Commission be able to come out with the wishes of Nigerians.