*says politicians must convince Nigerians how they will end insecurity, energy crisis, others
*Urges citizens, media to track campaign promises made by politicians
By Michael Oche
Election observer group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has asked politicians and their parties campaigning for the 2023 elections to state in realistic terms how they plan to provide alternative solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting the country.
CTA Executive Director, Ms Faith Nwadishi said political candidates should move from the old habits of making unrealistic promises during electioneering campaign just to deceive voters.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Nwadishi suggested that political parties and their candidates should deposit their manifestos as affidavit in a Court to make a legal document, so citizens can sue them if they fail to keep their promises.
The CTA boss urged citizens and the media to monitor and track campaign promises made by political office holders to hold them accountable.
She listed security, Energy, education, fiscal responsibility and anti-corruption as some of the issues that candidates must provide alternative solutions to during the campaign.
She said, “It is imperative, therefore, that political parties make their campaigns issue based and convince Nigerians to vote for their candidates based on sound proposals of alternative solutions to the issues that are of utmost concern to Nigerians.”
On security, she said; “The Centre for Transparency Advocacy is calling on the political parties and their candidates to tell Nigerians in realistic terms how they intend to end insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other criminalities. Citizens are eager to know the solutions that political parties are proffering to the lingering security challenges.”
On energy, Nwadishi said Political parties should consider and in fact include discussions on fuel subsidy and domestic consumption of fuel in their campaigns.
She said, “Our ask is that political parties and their candidates should tell Nigerians how they will cushion the effect
of high-energy cost, whether fuel subsidy will stay or go and how they will provide renewable energy options since that is where the world is going now.”
Reacting to the expectation on the education sector, she said Political parties and their candidates should make it a point to tell Nigerians how they will mitigate the protracted strikes in the education system and other rots bedeviling the Nigerian education sector from the primary, post primary and tertiary levels.
Furthermore, she said; “Amid dwindling resources arising from oil theft, non-remittances of revenue to the government-by-government agencies. The dwindling fiscal outlook has put the country in a financial quandary. The economic future of Nigeria is linked to fiscal responsibility. The fiscal choices we make today has implications for the future. Political parties and candidates need to tell Nigerians in their campaigns how they will strengthen the fiscal policies to encourage growth and productivity.”
The CTA boss said Issue-based campaign is essential for safe electioneering, saying that this will create the atmosphere for the successful deployment and conduct of all electoral activities.
According to her, campaigns should be devoid of hate speech; abusive, intemperate, or slanderous language; insinuations or innuendoes likely to provoke violent reaction; physical attack on supporters of one party by another or destruction of the campaign.
Nwadishi charged security authorities to guarantee adequate protection for the populace during this time and election period, saying all other stakeholders should be responsible for ensuring that elections are credible, free, and fair.