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Pay attention to local elections – Fashola

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By Timothy Akintola

Impending 2023 national election, pivotal to Nigeria’s democracy.

With the official commencement of the campaigns for the impending 2023 national election, many Nigerians are beginning to understand the huge make or break impact that the impending elections will have on the country. As such, numerous Nigerians have shown their preparedness towards participating, especially in the Presidential election. With Labour Party’s Peter Obi, Former Vice President of the Federation, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC, the front runners of the impending Presidential election, one pivotal narrative that has made rounds remains the need for Nigerians to also fuel more focus on the local elections, so as to prompt a much needed change in the social and political scenes.

With an awareness of less focus that has been placed on local elections overtime, Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing has recently urged all Nigerians of the need to pay more attention to the local elections in their domain during the 2023 national election and other successive elections. He said that it was rather important to focus their attention on the elections in Local Government Areas, Local Council, State House of Assembly and Federal Lawmakers than centrally pumping all their attentions to the Presidential election alone.

Impending election posed to shape Nigeria’s future.

Present at the annual lecture of The Niche, the theme this year was “2023 Elections and the Future of Nigeria’s Democracy”, which held at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos State, the Minister admitted that the impending election is perfectly posed to shape Nigeria’s socioeconomic and political development for coming years, and thus the need for Nigerians to show apathy and vote for candidates that will ensure stability in all sectorial spheres of the country. Present at this event were prominent personalities like Tanko Yakasai, a First Republican Politician, Former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, former Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, amongst others.

Moving on, Babatunde Fashola noted that it was important to pay intense attention to the local elections, as these local elective offices were most saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that they enjoy dividends of democracy, and such focus must not be placed centrally for the Presidential election alone. He also asserted that contrary to the oppositions and insinuations making rounds, the democratic system of government offers more to Nigerians than any other governmental system that can be adopted.

Media must focus their reportage on issues affecting the country.

The Minister added that by being saddled with the responsibility of electing viable candidates for the numerous political offices, the impending election offers Nigerians with the opportunity to further enhance their nation’s building process and strengthening the country’s democracy. He however stressed that the media and practitioners must base their reportage prominently on the problems that are affecting the populace, rather than give all headlines and spotlights to front running candidates of the impending general election.

On the media reportage, he further stated that problems in the educational sector, healthcare, Security and Economy and measures for improving them must be amplified. As such, he urged the media to pay attention to the issues that affect majority of the voters. He also called on politicians to avoid negative rhetoric’s that could cause disrepute to the country on global stages, stating that elections could still be won without aiming digs at other candidates.

Fashola urged candidates to speak on issues and their proposed solutions.

A two time Governor of Lagos State, Fashola also criticized politicians who exaggerate Nigeria’s problems to score sympathy from voters. He stated that candidates, instead of disrobing the country, should keep to speaking on issues affecting the country and their means for solving these issues. He also noted that candidates must inspire hope among the citizens rather than exploit every opportunity of putting the country under the radar so as to appeal to certain groups of voters.


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