Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, has stated that elections may be won without politicians engaging in divisive rhetoric intended to bring the nation into contempt on the international arena.
He said politicians and candidates for elective posts can speak to concerns and highlight how they propose to address the challenges rather than utilising the nation’s fault lines to pander to specific parts of voters.
He said this at The Niche’s annual lecture on Thursday at the MUSON Center in Onikan, Lagos State, with the theme “2023 elections and the future of Nigeria’s democracy.”
Those present at the event include the First Republic politician, Tanko Yakasai, former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, former NIMASA Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, among others.
Speaking, the former Lagos State governor said elections can be won without exaggerating Nigeria’s problems, adding that Nigerians, particularly politicians must keep to issues rather than playing up the country’s challenges at every opportunity
“We can win elections without disrobing our country before the global community. We can do so by valorising and clinging on to hope of Nigeria’s possibilities and not by widening our fault lines,” the minister who is the guest speaker at the event said.
Furthermore, he urged Nigerians to pay more attention to local elections in their domain during next year’s general elections in Nigeria.
He said rather than focus on the central elections and who becomes the next president, it was important that Nigerians divert their attention to elections in their Local Government Areas, Local Council Development Areas, State House of Assembly, among others.
He said those saddled with responsibility of ensuring Nigerians enjoy dividends of democracy are those in local elective offices and as such, the people must be interested in local elections as against more attention being paid to central elections.
He said contrary to insinuations and opposition, the democracy system of government delivers more dividends to Nigerians than any other system of government in the country.
He added Nigerians are faced with another choice in 2023 and it behooves them to choose rightly during next year’s election in strengthening the nation’s democracy.
He urged the Nigerian media and practitioners to also ensure issues affecting the people are given prominence in their reportage rather than giving all the spotlights to the politicians and frontline candidates for the 2023 elections.
“The media must focus its attention on news affecting the majority of potential voters. On how healthcare, education, security of lives and property of Nigerians can be improved,” Fashola said.
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