By Idowu Isamotu & Philip Shimnom Clement
A cross-section of participants at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue also expressed their views on the political situation in the country.
Electorate don’t know what candidates stand for—Shehu Sani
A former senator, who represented Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, said many Nigerians do not understand what the candidates stand for on major spheres of national life.
He said, “Each time Nigeria is going into an election season, there is this talk about Nigeria being at a crossroads.
“It is a make or mar situation, and it constitutes a threat to peace and stability of Nigeria, but there is a key word here, which is interrogation and it is very important.
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“If you pick an average Nigerian, it will be difficult at this time of the election for them to say what any of these candidates stand for on education, sports, foreign policy, sports and almost everything. It is so unusual and we simply repeat what has been done.
“It is just like INEC in every election, they will tell you that they are serious with sensitive and insensitive materials ready, and then on election day, which is usually on Saturday, they deliver materials at 12 or 1pm, it has always been their way.
“It is so ridiculous in Nigeria today that many people in Nigeria don’t know what their candidate stands for.”
He added, “That mentality of speaking in Chatham House is just the normal practice, it has even reached a point where candidates will just wave and dance for two minutes to a nation of 211 million people and the rally is over. How can you elect leaders based on this kind of presentation?”
Why there is voter apathy –Dahiru Suleiman
A former Nigerian Ambassador to Sudan, Dahiru Suleiman, said voter apathy is a result of the type of politics being practised in Nigeria.
He said, “If you don’t know anybody, you can’t be anything. What I have seen is not the type of politics I saw then. If you are not connected to a politician no matter how brilliant you are, you go nowhere.
“If we don’t change, we will continue to go down. What we now have is a government of the few privileged by the few privileged and for the few privileged.
“In Nigeria, we have not understood that we are a developing country. The kind of official vehicles government functionaries drive in this country is mind-boggling! No country that wants to develop will spend a large chunk of its money importing SUVs like we do in Nigeria.
“I have served in 9 different countries and there is nowhere I have seen what is happening in Nigeria and in all the places I have been, we are the most corrupt.”
FG should assure Nigerians of security –Gabriel Adiku
On his part, Chairman, North Central Peoples’ Congress, Gabriel Adiku, said the federal government should assure Nigerians that the insecurity would not affect the elections.
He commended Media Trust Group for sustaining the dialogue over the years.
He stated: “This year’s dialogue is interesting as Nigeria will battle with technology as we are assured that technology will play a role, but we are still at a crossroads.”