Nigerians Should Turn to God for the Choice of Candidates in 2019 Elections-Prof Olagoke
For over three and a half years now, Nigerians have contended with hunger, poverty, unemployment and insecurity. Sadly, government at all levels have done little to address these hydra like challenges which have not only demoralized the citizenry, but also prompted them to continually and relentlessly rein curses on the country's political office holders. A cross section of civil society groups allege that the three tiers of government have deliberately impoverished the populace, as a way of compelling them to sell their votes in the 2019 general elections.
Interestingly,a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar(rtd) has advised Nigerians to stop complaining about their pitiable condition, but vote out leaders who have not met their expectations . In this interview with Federationews2day, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says Nigerians should seek God's guidance in the choice of candidates they will vote for. Excerpts :
The insinuation is that the Federal and State Governments have deliberately impoverished Nigerians for the purpose of ensuring that vote buying is the trend in the 2019 elections. What are your views ?
The history of poverty in Nigeria started in 1960, when our poverty index was 15 per cent, followed by the second republic in 1979 to 1983 at 28 per cent. The military interventions worsened the situation as it rose from 42 per cent to 65 per cent.
Then, in 1999, it rose to 70 per cent almost till this moment.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo campaigned against impoverishing the poor masses, because according to him, Nigerians irrespective of their tribes and social class must have access to free education which would eventual liberate the children of the poor from the clutches of poverty. From his time to that of Bola Ige education took a large chunk to support structure, facilities and books, while having a good plan of allowing children to trek to and from school. One could imagine the then government was for all Nigerians, most especially the impoverished masses, whom the government intended to emancipate. Unfortunately, the dedication and commitment of our founding fathers, on the issue of the growth and development of the nation and general welfare of the people suffered a great set back during the civil war as well as the attendant agitations for true reconstruction, reconciliation and rehabilitation which was poorly managed to warrant the present insurgency, militancy, kidnapping and damages to the ecology of the oil producing areas, which were agitating for resource control and the South East's secession call.
It is unfortunate that this government inherited an already failed and recessed economy, which they were unable to manage at par with their campaign magic of the change mantra.
The bastardized environment, bad economy and disorganized society now continue to groan under poverty, which had been artificially introduced due to the era of endemic corruption and institutionalized indiscipline.
Under this condition, the political class, derailed from the focus of the goal of Democracy as a need to enthrone credible leadership for the purpose of institutionalizing justice and equity concepts in order that there would be peace and sustainable development.
The attendant consequence of gross mismanagement of the economy, the people and the environment, thereafter has resulted in the worrisome situation of insecurity and unbearable poverty tending to the abject level for many.
The 2019 general elections ought to focus on how best we would be able to vote in patriotic Nigerians with outstanding leadership qualities that would be able to arrest the menace of the present social upheaval, starting from working on the psyche of all Nigerians for better attitude in an environment of strict institutional discipline that would only be achieved through leadership by sacrifice, integrity and service.
Nigerians therefore, need to be mindful of God, without emphasis on religion in order that credible candidates, who will have passion for the restoration of our core values and see human rights issues as the ability to provide equal opportunities and equal access to the people of Nigeria, the downtrodden ones inclusive.