BusinessDay

Atiku, Obi, Tinubu, others please don’t tell us what we know

Come September 28, political gladiators in the country will start electioneering activities for the 2023 General Elections. Mammoth crowd will gather across the various states of the federation to hear what the politicians have to say: unfolding of their manifestoes and the selling of their parties programmes.

The 2023 general elections will be different from the previous ones for many reasons. The first being the dismal performance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

As expected, the politicians, led by Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and Bola Tinubu presidential candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively will remind us of this unprecedented bad governance unleashed on Nigerians by Buhari and his cohorts. But that will be trying to be more Catholic than the Pope, as Nigerians are victims of this regime, and know it all.

Don’t tell us our roads, train/railways and airport are not safe, we know. Please, tell us how you want to ensure our safety in the minutest details on our roads, airports, railways and trains

Don’t tell Nigerians that the country is not safe, we know: As at the last count in August, 2021, over 2.9 million internally displaced persons have been forced to flee their homes in the North-East region of Africa’s most populous country, due to over a decade of insurgency and conflict, according to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.

The report further indicates that many of them also fled the farmer-herder conflict and banditry in other parts of the country. Similarly, 7,222 were killed and 3,823 abducted nationwide during 2, 840 incidents of insecurity in 505 local government areas between January 1 and July 29, 2022. According to a report from Nigeria Security Incidents Tracker prepared by Beacon Consulting 1, 499 people were injured during the deadly attacks.

Between May 2011 and May 2022, the Boko Haram sect killed 61,261 people from Borno (35,646), Zamfara (5,747), Kaduna (5,462), Adamawa (4,097), Benue (3,774), Plateau (3,359) and Yobe (3,176). Of course, there were killings in other states like Katsina, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kebbi, etc

These people were not ghosts, they were not just numbers. They lived amongst us, in our communities, we know them. They were our brothers and sisters, we still feel the pain of their death.

As from September 28, don’t tell us how they were killed, tell us how you want to prevent the rest of us from being killed. Tell us how you will safeguard our lives and property, how you will make the security agencies work for our safety, what you will do with the Armed forces. Tell us how you will deal with terrorists, kidnappers and bandits.

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) are aware they are not living in their homes, don’t remind them they are “refugees” in their motherland. Tell them how you intend to bring security and safety to them in their homestead and so they can return to their farms and their businesses. They are tired of being IDPs.

Don’t tell us our roads, train/railways and airport are not safe, we know. Please, tell us how you want to ensure our safety in the minutest details on our roads, airports, railways and trains.

Nigerians want to know your security architecture for total national security.

Tell Nigerians how you want to resolve the lingering herders-farmers crisis, and how you intend to tame the marauding Fulani herdsmen.

Our economy is in shambles and in ruin courtesy of incompetents running the affairs of Nigeria from Aso Rock, the place you desire to occupy from May 29, 2023. Headline inflation is 20.5 percent, N714 exchange for $1 with 73 percent loss in value in less than ten years, while we spend N18.39 billion daily on fuel subsidy.

Tell us what you will do, not as a wish list, but something that must be done as soon as you assume power. President William Ruto, spoke to fuel subsidy removal during campaign and did it in less than 48 hours after assuming power in Kenya.

The cost of living has hit the roof top and 40 percent of Nigerians are living below National Poverty line. This is World Bank report. Unemployment rate is 33 percent and the youths are crying.

The power sector is still sick, no Nigerian city gets power up to 14 hours per day. Don’t tell us how bad it is, tell us how you will fix it. No wish list. Specifics!

It is a common knowledge that most Nigerians live on “zero-one-zero feeding formula” on daily basis. Don’t remind us that we are hungry, tell us how you are going to help us put food on the table. Our ports are congested, there is no road to Apapa port, and it shows how our businesses are running. Tell us how you are going to streamline our ports to meet the needs of businesses and port users.

Read also: Core cost of election is FG’s responsibility – INEC

The railways system is epileptic. Bandits board the trains, maim, kidnap and kill. You are no doubt aware as we aware that the trains are no longer safe and passengers are scared to travel on them. Don’t tell us that it is not safe, tell what you will do to make the rail system safe for users.

Our educational system has collapsed. Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 14, this year. Even before then, their products cannot be vouched for. Other levels of education are worse off, Students and parents, even employers are worried.

Please tell us what you will do to revamp our educational system: manpower, equipment, standards. We want to know a defined skill-sets that graduates of Nigerians schools at all level must possess. Don’t tell us our graduates cannot compete in the labour market, we know.

Nigeria’s fault lines have been widened by President Buhari and his co- travelers through appointments based on tribe, religion and region. Ndi Igbo don’t trust Yoruba and the two don’t trust Hausa and Fulani, everyone fears and hates Fulani as the enemy of our country and her people. Don’t divide us the more by playing on our weaknesses to get votes. Tell us how you will unite and make Nigeria great again. Tell us how you will instil law and order in our system. Don’t tell us we are bad people, we know some of us are!

The polity is already overheated, there is fear everywhere. We are living hopelessly and the time-bomb is ticking. Don’t take advantage of an already bad situation by reminding us of our religion, region, tribe and sentiments. Don’t howl abuses on us on the back of who we are. Don’t tell us about how other countries are better than Nigeria, tell us how you will make the country better than her fellows.

Don’t howl insults on yourselves, the social media is also already awash with same. We know who is “Emi lo kan”; we know those alleged to have embezzled public fund while previously in power and we know those who are contenders and pretenders: tell us what you will do to distinguish yourself.

Tell us, don’t insult our collective sensibilities!

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