By Samuel Edu
Scholars and experts in the field of Economics and Political Science said the just concluded 2023 general elections have significantly returned power to the electorate in electing those that will govern them.
This they said reflected on the failure of many Governors and incumbent Senators that lost their re-election bids to opposition candidates.
Those who spoke with The Hope expressed optimism that it is gradually becoming a new dawn in the Nigeria’s political space, stressing that it is high time political office holders become responsible and responsive to electorate.
Those who spoke with The Hope were; Professor Bayo Aborisade, Professor Olayemi Simon-Oke, Dr Bayo Fasunwon and Dr Egbetunde Tajudeen from Federal University of Technology, Akure and Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, respectively.
Professor Bayo Aborisade, said that the just concluded elections across all levels were a wakeup call to all political office holders, noting that Nigerians are now being conscious of those who will governs them.
The don noted that Nigeria is at a critical state and in need of political office holders who have the magic wand and how to rescue the nation.
“The hope of Nigerians is high on the incoming administration because Nigerians were so much disappointed in the outgoing President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration.
Professor Olayemi Simon-Oke of the Department Of Economics, Federal University of Technology Akure, noted that “one of the biggest take home from the elections is how the cashless policy helped in the reduction of vote buying.”
While stressing that though some politicians were still able to buy votes, Simon-Oke noted that it was not business as usual.
“From all indications, it is obvious that the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s cashless policy was greatly of help in reducing vote buying.
“It came as a rude shock to most politicians because their money failed them. The electorate voted in accordance with their conscience.
“Though we cannot completely rule out the fact that some politicians were still able to circumvent the process and were able to buy people’s vote, it was however not as it used to be.
“Summarily, I would say that the major lesson from this election is that the cashless policy to a great extent helped at reducing vote buying and it’s something highly commendable.”
Dr Bayo Fasunwon, observed that reduction in vote buying and the fact that the electorate are now more responsive and participatory in the political process was a major take home from the 2023 election.
Fasunwon noted that “those who will be steering the wheels of governance should look more closely on the areas of more inclusive governance, entrenchment of democracy, infrastructural development among others.”
Dr Egbetunde Tajudeen said cashless policy would have been a major landmark in the just concluded elections, but for government’s insincerity.
“The insincerity that followed CBN’s redesign of the currency calls for concern, though vote buying was greatly reduced but has not been totally eradicated as the fact remains that politicians devised another means of influencing the electorate most especially in the distribution of commodities before the election.”