The panelists at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue held in Abuja on Thursday have raised concerns that the blueprints of the presidential candidates in the 2023 elections cannot solve Nigeria’s problems.
The panelists are a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Ibukun Awosika; a lecturer, Analysis of Business Problems, Lagos Business School, Dr Yetunde Anibaba and a human capacity development specialist and chief executive officer of Heltoni Services Limited, Dr Eugene Enahoro. The event was moderated by the Deputy Editor-in-Chief/Chairman Editorial Board of Daily Trust, Dr Suleiman A. Suleiman.
The Chairman of Media Trust Group (publishers of Daily Trust newspapers and owners of Trust TV and Trust Radio), Malam Kabir A. Yusuf, says with the insecurity and the candidates’ use of mud-slinging and personality attacks, it is hard to envisage an unchallenged outcome from this year’s general elections in Nigeria.
The panelists said the presidential candidates had not explained to Nigerians how they would go about addressing issues of national importance which they listed as security, economy corruption, restructuring, among others.
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A highlight of the dialogue was a recorded video presentation on: ‘My First 100 Days in Office as President of Nigeria’, from each of the four leading candidates: Atiku Abubakar (PDP); Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC); Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (NNPP) and Peter Obi (LP).
Professor Ibrahim said though the candidates had unveiled well-articulated and detailed manifestos, they had failed to explain how they would do it.
He also said those manifestos were not written by them with inputs from party leaders and members, but written by highly intellectual professionals who would not be part of their government.
Ibrahim urged the electorate to scrutinize the promises made by the candidates and take decisions that would guide their choices. On his part, Dr Ehanoro said none of the presidential candidates had been able to clearly articulate how he would address the problems confronting the country.
Dr Anibaba said the citizens needed to see concrete actions to be taken by the candidates instead of rhetorics.
Anibaba said the manifestos of the frontline presidential candidates are excellently written academic exercise put together by academicians.
For Mrs Awosika, the presidential candidates are yet to disclose clear plans to address Nigeria’s challenges.
John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said: “A relatively small group of professional political elite have been running the affairs of the nation, mainly freely between two major political parties with no specific ideological identity but mainly structures for capturing power for rather selfish personal and group interests.
“If things are to change for the better, it cannot be business as usual.”