2023 General Elections, The Nigerian Youth And The Questions Of The Moment.
2023 General Elections, The Nigerian Youth And The Questions Of The Moment.
Our votes remain the most powerful tool available to us, as citizens of a democratic nation, to choose our leaders. It is a right and not a privilege. A vote is defined as a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates, or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands. Rev. Raphael Warnock defines a vote as a kind of prayer about the kind of world you want to live in.
So voting is a means of freely expressing a choice about how we want to live our lives. But sometimes, it’s very difficult to arrive at a choice. There are so many things to consider. Sadly, what most people do is align with politically familiar people or organizations under the impression that they have their best interests at heart. This is how it has been in the last six times we have gone to the polls in the past 24 years in Nigeria. During this period, Nigerians have been so traumatized by outright lies and deception. In the process, a whole new “upside-down” culture has enveloped us – a culture completely alien from that known to our fore fathers.
I believe it is time to stop and have a rethink about how we have voted or surrendered our votes in the past. I also believe it is time we get more involved in the political process by knowing our country better, the issues clearer, and digging deeper into the candidates and their political parties, since it is clearer to us now that a good government translates to a better Nigeria for all of us.
As we prepare to elect the next President of our great nation, it is imperative for us to ask some pertinent questions. The answers to these questions are strong indicators of how our common resources will be managed by a candidate, should he emerge President. A wasteful campaign will produce a wasteful government and a none truthful campaign will be a none truthful government. It is also equally important for the masses to have a wishlist for the political parties and not just ask “what is in it for us” ie. their manifestoes. This is the only way to raise the level of debate and differentiate leaders who empathize with the masses.
One. We should start with assessing the character and integrity of the candidates (Presidential Candidates and Vice Presidential Candidates). What were the circumstances that determined their emergence as party flag bearers? How have they conducted themselves during the campaign period?
Some of the candidates are demanding that ruling Nigeria is a birthright, others are whipping up very dangerous religious and tribal sentiments. Still some have floated subsidiary political parties and proposed concepts that they themselves have never practiced, despite personal wealth and unhindered access to finance all their lives. They are, in truth, strong and active antithesis of the concepts they propose. We have witnessed these crop of politicians utilize public resources to further their personal and selfish agenda. Be on the look out for these contradictions.
Prince Adewole Adebayo, the Presidential Candidate of the SDP, has mentioned many times that we must not believe anyone who claims to be representing the interest of a tribe, region or religion. Without a doubt, we must all have personal stories where we have seen none locals of our communities or regions who have made great contributions and accomplishments to their host communities; in government, as spouses of locals, in manufacturing, in education, etc.
Nigeria has gone beyond these very shallow segregative divides. The youth of Nigeria are more united as a bloc, in creativity, drive, innovation and hunger for success and development than they are with the elders in their respective regions. In fact, the progress and achievements of the youth of this country has been in spite of the corruption and aggression of government towards their businesses and other activities.
Two. We should also ask: How well do they understand the issues and what practical approach do they propose towards the resolution of our challenges? We must also consider performance and ideologies of the political parties that they belong to.
SDP’s vision to bring about a new Nigeria of our dreams has its foundation and framework based on Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution, which dictates that sovereignty belongs to the people and that the primary purpose of government is to cater for the welfare and security of the people, and Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution, which dictates the rights and liberties of the citizens, and emphasizes on the equalities of citizenship.
SDP’s main objective is to eradicate poverty and to secure our country. At the end of the day, it all comes down to provision of jobs or economic inclusion, shelter for all, healthcare for all, nutrition or food for all, access to electricity for all and security for all. These are essentially the key indicators for the determination of multi-dimensional poverty. At the moment, these indicators for Nigeria are very poor. We will reverse this trend if given the opportunity.
Three. Another assessment criteria should be the quality of their associates and sponsors. What are their antecedents and inclinations? Why is this important? Because in Nigeria, the course of power is highly influenced by the character of the President, his family and domestic support, and the people that have access to the President. If these circles are genuinely interested in Nigeria, then power will work for Nigeria. But if these circles are more interested in themselves, then power will work for them only.
At this point, it is pertinent to remember that due to the frequent changing of political parties by these old politicians while chasing their selfish interests, they are now one and the same. That means the politicians of any of these political parties will have equal access to power should any one of them emerge as President. This also explains why even after power has moved from one political party to another, and from person to person, they still share a strong commonality with poor management of Nigeria and an entitlement mentality to our common wealth.
Over the past 24 years, we have became a country in which war veterans who risked their lives and limbs to protect us and secure our peace are treated without the dignity and respect they deserve; a country in which our traditional rulers who mobilized their people and fought the colonial masters, are reduced to beggars, unable to serve their people; a country in which our civil leaders (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) have become so corrupt, partnering with equally corrupt bankers to place funds in fixed deposits while the services they are supposed to render go unfunded.
We are now a country in which public servants award contracts to themselves and cannot, in good conscience, supervise them to proper execution; a country in which “foriegn investors” means foriegn partnership with those in power for over invoicing and round tripping; a country in which the welfare of those responsible for shaping the youth and the future is not a government priority; and a country in which the reporting of truth is compromised because our journalists do not have adequate job security as such their welfare is now dependent on how well they please the news makers.
We have a choice to either uphold this corrupt system or stand up for a Nigeria where accountability, equity and justice is entrenched; these are the choices before us. The coming elections should be about building a better society for all, not a turn by turn looting game for a few elites. Hence, we must demand a progressive and value adding consensus from our leaders.
As Nigerians, we say it’s time for intelligence and capacity in service, integrity in leadership, respect for Nigerians by their leaders and a practical approach to resolving our challenges. The SDP has demonstrated that it has the most intelligent team on the ballot. We make bold to say that SDP has a clean leadership devoid of scams and suspicions and we have the cleanest team in the elections. SDP has demonstrated that it respects Nigeria and Nigerians the most by keeping its campaign local and respecting Nigerian Institutions. Furthermore, drawing inspiration from Chapter Two of the Nigerian Constitution, SDP has demonstrated that it has the most practical approach to resolving our challenges.
To the youth of Nigeria, who keep saying it is time for the youth to take charge, know that the SDP has the most youthful team on the ballot – both Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates are 51 years old. The work force of organizations that manage elections has a youth majority. Agencies that provide security for elections also have youth majority. Also, within those eligible to vote in the forth coming elections, the youth have a majority. This means that the outcome, as well as the conduct and integrity of the elections, rests in the hands of the youth. There is no excuse for the Nigerian youth to not change the course of Nigeria and vote in a brighter future for themselves. We must vote in people who see us as partners and equals, not people who can not even relate to us.
While yearning for a brighter future, we must know by now that these failed politicians do not have the capacity and will to produce a brighter future for us. We must fight and win the reins of power away from them to guarantee our brighter future. Based on the conduct of these failed politicians over the past 24 years, we must now know that they cannot be trusted. Moreover, we must know that we cannot solve our challenges using the same people that created them in the first place.
So do not surrender or waste your votes on failed politicians and their empty promises. Vote for a break away from failed and questionable politicians. Vote for a new beginning. Vote for SDP. Vote for the white horse. Our future and the future of our children depend on the choice we make in this General Elections.
Make sure your vote counts.
Yusuf Salisu Buhari
SDP VP Candidate
PDP suspends national chair, Iyorchia Ayu over anti-party activities
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu has been suspended by the party.
The suspension of Dr. Ayu was effected by the Ward Executive of the party in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state.
Addressing the media Sunday, on behalf of Kashi Philip, the Ward Chairman, the Ward Secretary Mr. Vangeryina Dooyum explained that Dr. Ayu was suspended by the Executive for alleged anti party activities.
Reading from a text signed by 12 out of the 17 member Ward Executive, the Secretary stated that the decision to suspend the National Chairman was reached after the leadership reviewed his conduct at the end of the just concluded general elections.
Flanked by the Chairman and other members, the Secretary said, “we observed with utmost dismay that, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu who is the National Chairman of the PDP worked against the success of the party in Igyorov Council Ward.
“It is on record that, he has also failed to pay his Annual Subscription Fees as provided under Section 8 (9) of the constitution of the PDP 2017 (As Amended).
“Further investigation also revealed that, he did not vote during the Governorship and State Assembly Elections held on March 18, 2023.
“It was also discovered that, most of his closest allies worked for the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, and hence, the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby pass a Vote of No Confidence on Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and suspend him as a member of our party with immediate effect. The suspension takes effect from March 24, 2023.”
Soludo, Okonjo-Iweala best appointments I made as president – Obasanjo
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria says his appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela as the Minister of Finance and Prof Chukwuma Soludo as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was the best he made during his administration.
Obasanjo said this on Saturday while speaking at the first year anniversary of Soludo as the Governor of Anambra in Awka.
He said he had no doubt in Soludo’s capacity to deliver in his new assignment.
Obasanjo stated, “When I appointed Soludo as my economic adviser, I worked with him very well and I was highly impressed with him so I chose to appoint him the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and he was one governor of CBN that was not from the commercial bank and he performed wonderfully well.
“I appointed Soludo and Okonjo-Iweala and I think probably that of all the appointments that I made while in office these two appointments were the best.”
He said he was accused of ruining the country because of his appointment of the two technocrats who were from the South-East by those who had “Igbophobia”.
He however pointed out that they performed creditably.
He said Soludo did well as CBN governor, while blaming the current crisis on the inability of the apex bank to function as the development bank that it should be.
He said, “Central Bank is not like a commercial bank. The Central Bank is for development and part of the problem we have suffered in the past, and we are suffering today, is that the Central Bank has not performed its job as a development bank as it should have.”
Also, addressing the issue of Nigerians travelling overseas for greener pastures, the former president said “When we develop our human capacity for export, it is not a waste. In fact, the experience they bring back, the outreach they get, the intellectual property they bring home and of course the money they bring back home are very important. East or West, home is the best, and they will be looking forward to coming back home.”
Governors-elect will get Certificates of Return from Wednesday, INEC assures
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it would start issuing Certificates of Return to Governors-elect, Deputy Governors-elect and States Assembly members as from Wednesday to Friday this week.
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, disclosed this in a statement in the early hours of Sunday.
He said the Commission met on Saturday 25th March 2023 and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the issuance of Certificates of Return to those elected during the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections conducted by the Commission on 18th March 2023.
According to him, by the provisions of Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.
“Pursuant to the above provision, the Commission has fixed Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st March 2023 for the issuance of certificates of return to Governors and Deputy Governors-elect as well as State Assembly members-elect. The presentation will take place in INEC offices in each State of the Federation
“Specific dates for the issuance of the certificates shall be communicated to those elected by the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries of the various States”, Okoye added.
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