• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Who should you vote for?

Close race, cash shortage raise desperation among politicians

The campaign for elections in 2023 has started, gubernatorial and presidential aspirants are wooing the citizenry to their side with their manifestos, what should voters do? Associate Editor, KEMI AJUMOBI, spoke with some people who shared their opinion on this. Excerpts

Esther Longe (PhD)
Founder, God in Real Life Outreach
Nation Builder, The Alternative Business School
The 7000 Movement

There’s no denying the air of despondency that hangs over the Nigerian climate at this time. It appears that prices are flying, people are flying (japa) and there doesn’t seem to be a quick fix or solution. There is a solution, it may not be quick but it will work. What is the solution you ask?

Take your power back

Take the narrative back

As Nigerians, we are more powerful than we realize. It’s time for us to take back our power and our narrative. Nigerians win. As individuals we win all over the world. In Nigeria, we are resilient against all odds. It’s time for us to move beyond survival mode, it’s time for us to believe that we deserve better. It’s time for us to hold ourselves to higher standards.

It’s time for us to elect leaders who will win for us and not continue to drain our resources. These leaders are chosen from amongst us. Beyond collecting and using your PVCs, volunteer to be INEC officials, man the polling booths and let’s get Nigeria back on the right track.

This election will be make or break for nation. We are already on a precipice. We have the power to decide if this precipice will launch us into a new and better Nigeria or if Nigeria as we know it crumbles even further.

History will judge us if all we do is sit with folded arms on the sidelines.

It’s time for us to find our voice as a people and use it. Vote with vision, vote for someone you truly believe can steer this country aright. Vote like the lives of future generations depend on it. Vote for a New Nigeria!

Nonny Ugboma,

Executive Director, Nondunna Limited and PhD Researcher, UCL

Even though democracy was developed in the West, Nigeria has managed to remain on this path for the last twenty-three years. Successfully or unsuccessfully? This is our reality, democracy is here to stay, so it is important that we all participate.

Interestingly, twenty-three years ago when we embarked on this journey, our youths who are 35 and below were too young to participate but now, they have come of age, it is their time and their votes and their voices matter; especially because under 35-year-olds in Nigeria constitute over 70% of the population.

True consideration must be given to youth development as it is an important social challenge that needs to be addressed. As a matter of fact, I would argue that it is the most critical area that any government should concentrate on because of the alarming unemployment and underemployment situation of young people in Nigeria just like the rest of Africa. Therefore, it cannot be business as usual, and the incoming leadership must come up with tangible and realistic solutions that will be implemented towards solving this menacing problem for us. A country without a clear path for its young people is not likely to survive because the youth are the future of any nation.

Already, a lot of young Africans are leaving the continent legitimately and illegitimately to greener pastures and therefore, history is repeating itself as in the days of slavery when able-bodied young people were taken from their countries to build advanced economies. Today, they are leaving of their own accord, and they are being lured to other countries where they will now be instrumental in building them up as their youth population is reducing.

It is therefore important that the leaders that we elect must have the right team, structure, strategy, skills, and experience to ensure that the challenge of youth development is rectified to enable the building of a sustainable nation.

Finally, as the institution of democracy is our chosen system for selecting our leaders, it is imperative that citizens, especially the youth, allow the system to run its course, remain respectful, and peaceful by participating in a civil manner, with faith in our hearts the process will bring forth the right government and the best outcomes for our country.

Benedicta Oyiana (PhD)

Partner, Platform Capital

I pray for an urgent Recovery for Nigeria.

Recovery from the loss of every patriotic virtue and ideal that Nigeria has ever held or aspired to, from the pain of elevating money and short term profit above all else, from greed and hunger, from the confusion caused by abandoning factual information to the maelstrom of self-serving opinions, from the callow indifference to the well-being of fellow citizens, from the silly notion that all of this does not have real world daily consequences, and that we will always have enough money and capacity to recover, from the unjust disparity between social/economic classes, from the ails of colonisation, and from the underbelly of selfishness.

We are hopeful of a new Nigeria!

Ife Durosinmi-Etti

Founder/CEO, Herconomy

For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that I am a big believer in the Nigerian dream which is why I do what I do.

Despite the challenges that we’ve had which are expected of any nation, we have also had some outstanding moments to celebrate. As a big gender advocate, I’m particularly happy to see the impact Nigerian women are having in different spheres.

From being in the background, we are seeing an increase in the number of women at the forefront, leading critical solutions. And as you know, every successful nation has women actively involved.

The campaign has started and sadly, the presence of women running for office is poorly represented. I am however hopeful that qualified women will be given leadership positions.

As the aspirants campaign, listen to them but let your conscience guide your choice. The youths must not be discouraged, we must remain optimistic. Let’s all ensure we cast our votes and do so for the right candidate.

Zuriel Oduwole

Girl Education Advocate/Film maker

The Nigeria of tomorrow – today

So, we are in October 2022, and in the true land of milk and honey on the African continent, it is the season to chart another path for the next four years. Some call it election, others call is selection. Whatever “ion” you call it, one thing is clear, and that same thing affects all Nigerians. It is the revelation that “the poor person from a rich country is more respected overseas, than the rich person from a poor country”.

Is Nigeria a rich country, or a poor country? Perhaps, we should determine this first, then look around the world to see if Nigerians are respected or not. The first step would be choosing leaders for a future, that would ensure that all Nigerians are respected at home, and abroad. But to be respected as a country, the same local laws must be equally adjudicated to all to the same level – (men, women, rich, poor, northern, eastern, western, middle belt), the same freedom guaranteed to all citizens in the country, and the commonwealth of the country meaning exactly just that.

To be respected or not to be respected? This is what Nigeria’s current election cycle would help determine. Choose wisely!