BusinessDay

2023: Avoid politics of bitterness and hate speech, group urges political parties

Political parties in Nigeria have been advised to avoid politics of bitterness and hate speech as they prepare to start campaigns leading to the 2023 general election already slated for February 2023.

Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) which gave this advice in Lagos recently, also urged the political parties to invest their time, energy and resources in issue-based campaigns.

“Political parties should avoid politics of bitterness and hate speeches,” Akin Oyegbola, a surveyor and president of APBN, counseled, noting that such politicking could further heat up the polity and throw the nation into chaos.

Oyegbola also advised the government not to abandon governance for politics, as such would hurt the development of the nation, adding, “the year 2022 precedes the 2023 election year and political activities are back with us.”

“We have high hopes that campaigns, which are about to begin, will be devoid of hate speeches and languages that may heat up the polity.

“As a professional body, many of our member-organisations may be involved in some political activities; we hope that we can also advocate for issue-based campaign; we also express concern that the government will not abandon governance for politics,” he said.

Referring to the frequent building collapse cases in the country, Oyegbola said the government, its agencies and the private sector should engage the services of experts in the real estate industry for building construction projects.

He lamented the challenge of brain drain among Nigerian professionals, urging the government to tackle the trend by unveiling economic stimulants for young professionals.

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“The last one year has seen an unprecedented number of young professional Nigerians migrate abroad to seek greener pastures. This is clearly connected to the socio-economic situation in Nigeria and their inability to envision a desirable future in Nigeria,” he noted.

Continuing, he said, “this is an alarming situation for our country as we do not have enough professionals and cannot continue to lose the few that we have. It is often said that no country develops without a veritable local human resources.

“We therefore urge governments at all levels to come up with policies that will encourage young Nigerian professionals to stay and help develop the country.”

Similarly, the association’s Board urged the Federal Government to sustain its fight against bandits, kidnappers and criminal elements within the polity.

“The issue of insecurity has remained a major concern to us. You would recall that one of the issues that came up at the Board’s last meeting, and which formed part of the issues communicated then, was insecurity.

“It also formed a major thrust of the Board’s last deliberations; because of the seeming intractability of this issue. The nation’s economy is being stunted, and may not attract the much-needed investments as long as there are these palpable feelings of insecurity in the land,” he said

Oyegbola called on the government to address the economic trend, which he said was not encouraging. He also urged the government to resolve the seven-month old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying that doing so would protect the future of the country’s youths.

“We wish to continue to state that the current industrial impasse which has led to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and social unrest by National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is very unfortunate.

“In order to protect the future of our youths whose academic life is being disrupted, we urge the Federal Government to implement agreements it entered with ASUU.” he added.

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