Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, is just a few weeks away from the conduct of national and state elections that enthrone the country’s next President, state governments and lawmakers. This election is particularly critical in determining the path the country will take in years to come.
The Nigerian public has slid into a heightened level of distrust in its current governments and institutions as the country’s new order is a drastically weakened economy, a continued brain drain of its hopeful talents, heightened insecurity, and many more disheartening issues.
The severity of the situation has metamorphosed political campaigns from merely posing for pictures with the “common man” has practiced in the past to debating critical issues and the actionable path to pull Nigeria out of its current crisis.
While many Nigerians have chosen their preferred candidates to pioneer the country when President Muhammadu Buhari hands over in May 2023, the leading candidates are Peter Obi of Labour Party, Bola Tinubu of the All-Progressive Congress, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party.
For the undecided voters, here are some indicators to guide the choice of candidacy in 2023:
One is security. What is the value of a human life in Nigeria? According to reports, over 5000 Nigerians in the first half of the year have tragically died because of insecurity in the country. These numbers do not do justice to the terror which is plaguing the country. From unending kidnapping to more daring attacks on a moving train and an attack on the presidential guard brigade, Nigeria’s security situation is terrifying. Your preferred choice of presidential candidate must show Nigerians his preparedness to tackle this critical situation.
Two, Nigerians need to hear an actionable solution to the country’s economic crisis. A solution that preaches monetary and structural reforms. The candidates need to explain to the public its solutions to a depreciating currency, its heavy debt profile, fuel crisis and more.
Three is power. Nigerians are having a difficult time running a business on increased cost of diesel and fuel. Others who do not need power for business use it as a basic necessity for life. Although the power situation seems to have improved in the last few days, are Nigerians worried if it is an election incentive? Presidential candidates need to address that.
Four, competence and credibility based on track records of previously held offices. A rightful presidential candidate isn’t one that has grey, bleak, unconnecting discrepancies of their past.