As preparations for the 2023 general election gathers political steam, Nigerians should avoid the mistakes of the past and entrust the governance of the country into capable hands, the 2022 Set of African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, said on Wednesday.
While warning that the 2023 election should not just be another general election, the Class, popularly known as LSD Set 17, said Nigerians should not vote for candidates who have no clear-cut plan to deal with the challenges in agriculture, education, health and security.
The governor of the Class of Set 17, Gideon Daniels, raised the observations during a press conference in Abuja.
He described as unfortunate the fact that Nigeria had been gripped by insecurity, poverty in the midst of plenty, deteriorating education and healthcare, displacements and brain drain.
According to him, all of the challenges have continued due to bad leadership and not knowing how to manage human and material resources to deliver development for the citizens of the country.
Daniels said knowledge from development literature indicated that for any country that wants to grow, the leaders and managers of the country’s resources must focus on four tangent areas, viz education, infrastructure, agriculture, and health.
He said, “As a serious country and people, 2023 should not just be another general election. The administration of Nigeria at all levels must be entrusted into capable hands. Ethnic and religious sentiments must be eschewed! As the nation prepares for the 2023 general election, we recommend that citizens should look out for candidates with the capacity to deal with the following issues:
“Agriculture: A candidate that will ensure there is food security;
Infrastructure: A candidate that will provide infrastructure; not a candidate that will borrow for infrastructure yet, will not provide it.
Education: A candidate that is passionate about education in both words and actions; as a nation, we cannot continue with the incessant ASUU strikes that have continued to disrupt young people’s aspirations.
“Health: A candidate that knows, values, and is determined to provide quality healthcare for citizens; not one who will seek healthcare services outside the chores of the country.
Security: A candidate that will ensure they tackle insecurity and ensure that there is security of lives and properties. The importance of security cannot be overemphasised as this creates the bedrock for every other form of development to thrive.
“Taking the above premise for choosing the right leader that will enthrone the right leadership for sustainable growth and development of the economy and good governance come 2023.
“The 2022 students of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) Set 17 are deeply concerned about the current situation in the country. As a group, we wish to bring to the fore, critical issues that have negatively affected Nigeria and Nigerians and must no longer be neglected by the democratically elected leaders – especially as the 2023 general elections draw near.
“One of which is insecurity. We note with great concern, the worsening state of insecurity across the country – characterised by kidnappings, banditry, and assassinations, among others. We also note the growing fear within the Federal Capital, arising from recent attacks in several parts of the city as well as threats from unknown sources.
“As Nigeria lurches from one violent conflict to another, the country’s leaders and its international supporters become easily – and perhaps understandably – fixated on the latest manifestation of insecurity. The larger problem, however, is that none of this will ever change unless the focus turns more firmly and consistently to the thread that runs through all of that upheaval – the challenge of leadership and governance.
“Due to the challenge of leadership and bad governance, citizens who are vital resources to the development of Nigeria are willingly leaving the country in droves and putting up their skills, knowledge, and potential to be used by foreign countries to develop or grow their human capital index as well as their economies.
“While we encourage all eligible citizens to participate in the coming elections to ensure that credible leaders are voted into power in 2023, we admonish citizens to shun electoral violence and acts that are capable of negating the essence of election including the temptation of selling their votes before or during the polls and strive for a peaceful, credible, and fair election.”