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‘Just dey play’: The Nigeria 2023 Election in Forethought



By Balogun Kamilu Lekan

The catchphrase “just dey play” has become a popular slang used by netizens, especially Nigerians. The phrase is used to call someone to order humorously. That is if the person called to order is wise enough to decipher the message.

Literally, “just dey play” is a Nigerian pidgin lingo meaning “keep playing” or “continue playing”, and in another context, it can mean “keep having fun.”

For the sake of this article, we want to look beyond.

As earlier stated, “just dey play” can also be used to call someone to order, and that is our aim in this pool of words you’re diving into

Relating it to the 2023 general election might sound funny or unserious, but it is what it is.

It is a global thing that electioneering periods are volatile periods. Propagandas will fly. Lies will fly. Hatred will spread. Even mockery will thrive.

Cascading this down to our Nigeria of today, the three front runners aspiring for the office of the president of Nigeria are the electorates’ main focus. Yes, it should be because it is the highest office in the country.

The three fraternities of followers of these candidates seem to want to make the race a do-or-die one.

The “Mikano” cult is demarketing the “Agbado” forerunner. The “Emilokan” fraternity is throwing whatever they can at the Obidient to see their downfall. Such a move is normal, especially in a period like this.

The main focus on just these three frontrunners is a joke, as more than 500 or more positions revolve around decision-making in this country. If you think other offices are irrelevant. Just dey play

Turning our focus away from our immediate senatorial or house or representatives aspirant is a joke or not? Just dey play

Some electorates dont even know their state house of representatives aspirant. All I can say is “Just dey play”.

Are they not part of the situation we find ourselves in today? Just dey play. Dey play dey go.

So if Obi or any other aspirant wins the presidential election and has weak and incapable legislators in the assembly, do you think he’ll succeed? I say dey play dey go

Many electorates are waiting for their opposition candidate to lose so they can use his loss as content and get robust traffic to their social media.

The “Mikano” supporters are waiting for the Agbado forerunner to lose to use his failure as a skit.

The “Emilokan” faithfuls are waiting for the “Obidient” to se kini ko lule so it can be a source of traffic to their content hub.

If the Mikano, Agbado or Obidient aspirants lose this election, they’re still better off. Their families are still better off.

It’s not our fault. It’s a world of content that we live in. But using this deciding election as content without fully participating is a joke. 

Wait! You don’t have your PVC, and you want to participate fully in the process, how? Just dey play.

Artificial fuel price hike, incessant Asuu strike, collapsing economy, youths japaing en masse on a daily basis. Suffer no dey taya una? Just dey play. You hear? Dey play dey go

If we get it wrong this time, we might end up holding a regretful meeting wailing in the next four or eight years in a townhall “differen from balaBlu jhgggfghgft bulaba”


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