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Communiqué issued at the end of the 20th Daily Trust Annual Dialogue held on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Abuja

INTRODUCTION: With barely a month away from the conduct of the 2023 general elections that would usher in a new set of leaders for the…


With barely a month away from the conduct of the 2023 general elections that would usher in a new set of leaders for the country, Nigeria’s political landscape is already charged with electioneering campaign activities as candidates of the participating political parties have been rolling out their manifestos and agendas as they crisscross the country for votes.

The 20th edition of Daily Trust Dialogue with the theme: ‘Interrogating the 2023 Presidential Agenda’, examined the level of preparations for the polls so far, and specifically scrutinised the blueprints of the leading Presidential candidates.

The event, which attracted dignitaries from across the country, had John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, as Chairman, with His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ismaila Mohammed, a veteran journalist, and Sarkin Karshi, Abuja, as the Royal Father of the Day.

Other dignitaries that graced the occasion include former governors of Katsina and Niger states, Ibrahim Shema, and Babangida Aliyu, serving and former lawmakers, chairmen, women and youth leaders, members of civil society organisations, development partners, and diplomats.

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This year’s event was broadcast live by Trust Television, which is on StarTimes Channel 164; NigComSat’s Free TV; Moreplex 715; ArabSat Badr Sat7; AVO TV; and LIMEX World TV, as well as on YouTube and other social media platforms. A highlight included recorded video presentations on: “My first 100 days in office as President of Nigeria”, from the four leading candidates: Atiku Abubakar (PDP); Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC); Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (NNPP) and Peter Obi (LP).

The annual Daily Trust Dialogue is part of Media Trust Limited’s contributions to stimulating discussions by Nigerians and fellow Africans towards enhancing national, and indeed, African integration and cohesion, which are crucial for sustainable socio-political growth and economic development of Nigeria, and the African Continent at large.

Four eminent Nigerians were selected as panellists for this year’s Dialogue. They include a university professor and member of the Board of the Centre for Democracy and Development, Mr. Jibrin Ibrahim; a foremost entrepreneur and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), Mrs. Ibukunoluwa Awosika; a human capacity development specialist and scion of the Enahoro family, Dr. Eugene Enahoro; and a lecturer in Analysis of Business Problems at the Lagos Business School, Dr Yetunde Anibaba.

 The Chairman of Media Trust Limited, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, set the tone with a thought-provoking welcome address in which he warned against flashing red lights ahead of the elections. Maintaining that “there are more desperados than democrats” among the candidates for the 2023 general elections, he urged Nigerians to ignore provocations from such candidates for the conduct of peaceful and fair elections.



The Management of Media Trust Limited was commended for consistently hosting the annual dialogue, which provides a forum for experts to critique burning national issues, for twenty (20) years.

While appealing to the President to ensure that the election takes place as planned, the participants observed with dismay that banditry and kidnappings were making normal life impossible and may result in making it difficult for registered voters to exercise their civic rights during the polls. 

That the violent attacks by members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East, mostly directed against the Police and INEC facilities and personnel might put off communities from voting. 

They also noted that it will be hard to envisage an unchallenged electoral outcome with the country’s acute insecurity and the candidates’ use of provocative language and personality attacks.

The participants ascribed the failure of our democracy to the failure of our National Assembly to uphold their responsibility of holding the executive accountable to the people, preferring to become an extended branch of the executive in initiating and executing budgetary items.

While warning ‘professional riggers’ across all the political parties that this year’s general elections will not be business as usual, participants noted that a truly free, fair, and credible election is the only way through which men and women ready to serve the nation with dedication, sincerity, honesty, and integrity would emerge winners at all levels of government. 

They also noted the significant increase in the number of Nigerians that have registered for the 2023 elections, saying it was a sign that there would be no voter apathy this time around.

Acknowledging that the major candidates in the presidential race have blueprints that identify Nigeria’s problems, participants, however, said the documents lack strategic guidelines on how to address those problems.         



Arising from the above, participants called on the president to improve the electoral environment by ensuring that the security forces work to restore security across the country, especially in areas that could engender voter apathy.

They posited that if things were to change for the better, it cannot be business as usual as there is a need for drastic change of orientation, especially in the exercise of political power, characterised by sincere and honest service for the common good.

Participants advised that Nigeria’s multi-ethnic diversity should be seen as an asset to strengthen us to collectively imbibe values that would unite rather than divide the country.

Participants called on all the contestants to adhere to their peace commitment and pledge by watching their utterances, warning that if citizens ignore the provocations, Nigeria could be the ultimate winner at the polls.

Participants concluded by calling for more of such dialogues to discuss the various challenges that confront the nation.