Election 2019: What should really Matter
The 2019 general election is a very important election for Nigeria as it marks 20 years we have practiced civilian rule consecutively. It will also be the 6th time we will be going to the poll since the emergence of democracy in 1999.
Democracy might not have given us all we want but someday we will get to the promise land. How soon the ‘someday’ comes depends on the questions we ask before, during and after elections.
The 2019 election is scheduled for February next year which is only a few weeks away but paying attention to conversations online and offline have made me realize that the youth are not asking the right questions but are paying more attention to the trivial issues like how popular is a candidate, how old is s/he, what is his or her tribe.
I watched the interview of a spokesperson to one of the candidates and he went on about how his candidate is more Fulani than the other candidate. The painful thing is that this spokesperson represents one of the prominent candidates.
Why is nobody talking about relevant issues like;
Economic crisis: this is a very crucial point for any country, developed, developing or underdeveloped. Nigeria just got out of over a year of recession but not long after this good News, it was reported that Nigeria is now the Poverty Capital of the world, overtaking India.
The implications of this report can only be understood by numbers and not just the word ‘Poverty Capital’. India is said to the home of 1.3 billion people while Nigeria’s estimated population is 190 million what this means is that there are lesser people out of the 1.3 billion in India that is below the poverty line compared to 190 million Nigeria.
The report also states that 67% of Nigerians are living below the poverty line. This is a huge number when calculated and this is part of the issue we should be focusing on and not where is the next president from.
Job Loss: according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in Nigeria, about 7 million people lost their job in 2017, the statistics of 2018 is not out because the NBS claimed they are underfunded.
Any country that is trivializing employment/unemployment statistic is only creating room for an increase in crime rate. Did I mention that there is no crime rate statistic as well?
Creation of Job should be an important discussion during this period as we prepare for the 2019 elections.
Education crisis: it is surprising that political parties are campaigning and no one is talking about how to resolve the present ASUU strike that has been on for weeks.
The Minister of Education recently said that 60 million Nigerians are illiterates and 60% of this figure is female.
Why is no one bothered about this but we are focused on the popularity of candidates. Why is no one talking about the fact that despite the fact that present administration set up the Home Grown School Feeding Program which is costing the country billions of Naira Nigeria is now the country with the highest number of out of school children and the worst part is that it is increasing, from 10.5 million children in 2017 to 13.2 million children in 2018.
Terrorism: Nigeria has remained 3rd most impacted country by terrorism in the world for the 3rd consecutive years. Although there has been a drop in all of the countries over the years.
The recent attack on a Military base in Melete by the member of the Boko Haram group should not be swept under the carpet.
If the armed insurgents can attack and kill several soldiers in a military base then the whole nation should not be carried away by the false peace we enjoy.
Electricity: according to Spectator Index, Nigeria was rated the second worst in terms of electricity supply out of 137 countries in the world in 2017. Second to a war-torn Yemen.
This is a very important issue to consider before going to the poll and not the age of the aspirant.
Electricity is a major factor that determines the economy of a country, stable electricity increases productivity.
Cost of Government: it is no news that the Nigeria Legislatures are the highest paid in the world while our civil servants are struggling to survive. Several states in Nigeria is owing at least a month salary, there is even state that has been paying half salary since 2015 yet our debt has increased drastically over the years. Nigeria debt as at June 2018 is N22.4 trillion. This is an important issue we should be deliberate about and not the tribe of the president.
There are still issues that have been in existence for ages such as bad roads, insecurity, Human right abuses and lack of social amenities.
The questions we should be asking is how we can solve some of these important questions and not the irrelevant debate we are having.