Now that the Candidates Have Emerged – By Prof. Leonard K. Shilgba

By Prof. Leonard Karshima Shilgba | NNP | July 24, 2022 – First, let me congratulate all Nigerians on this Democracy Day. We must also congratulate ourselves that Nigeria has endured uninterrupted representative democracy since 1999. I have used the word “endure” deliberately, because much more has happened in the last  23 years that could have forced undemocratic interventions in the governance of our nation, but Nigerians ENDURED, PERSEVERED, and seem to be highly MOTIVATED this time to assert their power of CHOICE in the next elections. I am concerned about what Nigerians would be choosing in those 2023 elections now that the candidates have emerged.
In the past, more generally, Nigerians chose ethnicity, religion, and region rather than advertised evidence of past performance (which projects future performance); and published nifty economic, industrial, agricultural, security, health, and social  programs and policies (which shine the light on the pathway to better standards of living of the citizens). If Nigerians still retain in their minds those inconsequential indicators (ethnicity, religion, and region), and allow those to influence their choices in the 2023 elections, we have a LONG WAY to travel toward a better society which works for all and not only for a few.
The Holy Book says, “The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” If Nigerians are truly hungry for a better society, where the security of life is assured through instigation of intelligent security architecture, productivity is elevated above consumption, the ease of doing business is a given, inflation is kept very low, real income is high, functional education is guaranteed, public health delivery is of good quality and affordable, with health insurance at low premium, etc., then, religion, ethnicity, and region are not important factors in guaranteeing all those desirables.
Human beings don’t quickly adjust to new ways of doing things; however, bold and courageous leaders find a way to make them adjust to, accept, and promote the very necessary changes that they had initial fears of. We have feared enough, we have stayed for too long in this valley of ethno-religious and regional politics of disadvantage. Let us climb to the mountain top of ideas!
I have read and heard how religious, ethnic, and regional organizations and certain individuals have been making open and veiled threats regarding where either candidates for elective offices or their running mates should come from (And there is no way that all of them can be satisfied). We have seen this drama before; we have travelled this road before. Tell me, please; how have things turned out for Nigeria?  Now is not the time for emotional choices. It is time for deep pondering and wise choices, keeping in view our economic health, social and physical security, and general constitutional progress of our nation.
We must not vote according to our political parties; rather, we must vote for individual candidates based on the programs and policies which they have published and their track record of performance. I would appeal to Nigerian journalists to shine the light on those factors, not on religion, ethnicity, or region. Nigerians deserve better this time.
I am happy that many young Nigerians are more motivated to get involved in our elections. I commend the organizations that are making efforts to get Nigerians to register to vote. I would urge unprecedented huge turnouts on election days next year.
Finally, let me make this request of you compatriots: Henceforth, when anyone talks to you in support of ethnicity, religion, or region as the defining factors in candidate choice, reply, “Get behind me; you are an offence to our cause, the Nigerian cause.”
Leonard Karshima Shilgba
 General Overseer
 Bible Clinic Ministry
 © Shilgba


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Posted by on Jul 24 2022. Filed under All Peoples' Congress (APC), Articles, Columnists, Labour Party (LP), Leonard K. Shilgba, PhD, NNP Columnists, Party Politics, Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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