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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Columnist: Rufai Oseni

EUREKA: Nigerians aren’t taking elections seriously

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As a binge watcher of presidential debates, I must have watched hundreds of different debates round the world and one really stood out for me, it was the Kennedy VS Nixon first debate in the 60s, where Kennedy articulated his goal for American, a lot of people claim that that debate won the elections for Kennedy because it was purely driven by the issues and he showed an understanding for the issues bedeviling America.

Also, the Abiola VS Tofa debate, leading up to the June 12, 93 elections in Nigeria clearly showed that Abiola understood the issues better than Tofa.

It must be stated that politics apart from the theatrics, politics is about providing solutions to the issues on the minds of people, a leader that cannot provide solutions will never do well.

I must reiterate my sadness at the current political season in Nigeria, for me I see clearly that both the electorate and the leaders are not concerned about the issues.

I must repeat issue based politics is the only politics that can bring results in Nigeria. Our country is currently inundated with massive insecurity and economic woes, our debt levels are rising and subsidies are destroying our means of livelihood-the subsidies that the government Hitherto called a scam has now become the big elephant in the room.

Our economic mismanagement has become a genocide to our economic fortunes, Nigeria is struggling to stand but the shocking thing is that the followers don’t get it.

Ask any supporter why do you support a candidate, they cannot tell you why, they will only say I like him. I once organized a focus group and I discovered that most Nigerians don’t even know the issues, so if we have an electorate that don’t know the issues how can we vote wisely.

The candidates have resolved to play on the fact that the electorates are not aware of the issues. It has to be said they have deliberately taken the campaign off issues based politics to showmanship, watching the campaign season in Nigeria is like watching Big Brother Africa-it's all drama.

I write because I fear if we don’t bring the issues to the fore and debate about solutions we might not get the right candidate, currently with the strike by oil marketers, I expect robust debate on solutions to hike in fuel price and removal of subsidies by the candidates but all is see is long motorcades and Outlandish parties to celebrate their small wins as they look forward to the big wins.

I must repeat elections matter and it’s serious business but Nigerians aren’t taking it seriously.