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2023: Political Parties and the Need for Issue-Based Campaigns

2023:  Political Parties and the Need for Issue-Based Campaigns

Political parties in Nigeria formally launched their campaigns for the 2023 General Election on September 28th, 2022. This is in accordance with the country’s Electoral Act, which states that campaigns must be carried out within 150 days of the elections.

As a result, the political arena is now clear for open campaigns and demonstrations, door-to-door voter solicitation, town hall meetings, billboard installation, printing and distribution of posters, and other activities.

There is also room for radio and television jingles, interviews, and political debates, all of which are designed to help candidates sell themselves and their parties to Nigerians.

As campaigns acquire traction, it is critical for candidates and political parties to focus on ideas rather than attacks on individuals, mudslinging, character assassination, property destruction, and a variety of other clandestine operations helped by gangsterism.

In terms of politics, the main concern of most Nigerians today is how to find a guy who can steer the country’s affairs in such a way that it can turn its fortunes around and place it on the path of growth. This can only be realized through issue-based campaigns by candidates vying for the coveted position of Nigeria’s number one citizen.

Read Also: The 2023 Election Can Be An Opportunity For Us To Get It Right As A Nation

However, according to Professor Eghosa Osaghae, Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, politicians often regard issue-based debates, consultations, and campaigns as a waste of time and inconsequential to winning elections. Those who linger on concerns and visions, he claims, are not taken seriously, but rather as excessively intellectual. They are told that all they are saying is theoretical and not practical or operational.

The largest challenge in Nigerian politics today has been characterized as the lack of ideological foundations among the parties. Politicians, as a result, have a tough time telling their fans what they have in store for them and what they want to do for them. There is little ideological distinction between one political party and another.

Historically, political parties emerged with a variety of ideas, philosophies, ideologies, and manifestos. Action Group, Unity Party of Nigeria, Northern Nigerian People’s Congress, The Nigeria People’s Party, National Party of Nigeria, People’s Redemption Party, and Great Nigeria People’s Party are a few examples. The National Republican Party of Nigeria, the Social Democratic Party, and others all had distinct philosophies that were easily recognizable. That is not the case with the current 18 recognized political parties.

As the elections approach, candidates are expected to consider ways to combat the threat of insecurity, including insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping, and to assist security forces in overcoming security issues. Another challenge is how to improve Nigeria’s education system so that it is among the best in the world.

They should also explain to voters how they want to get the economy back on track, with industries up and running and production lines in all sectors operating at peak efficiency. These issues, and others, should dominate public discourse as politicians travel the length and width of the country seeking people’s votes.

Candidates for the State Houses of Assembly and the Presidency must explain their plans for the energy sector, including how they intend to address the national grid’s constant failure and provide Nigerians with the necessary megawatts of electricity to light their homes and power facilities for productivity and profit.

Other concerns that political parties must address include measures to strengthen the health-care system to reduce medical tourism, improve agriculture for food security, create work for the teeming youth, and develop sustainable ideas to drive small and medium-sized businesses for economic growth.

Issue-based campaigns are critical to the advancement of Nigeria’s democracy. They will give the electorate a better grasp of the plans that are in the works for them, allowing them to make more educated selections about who to vote for come February 2023. This will remove the bad blood that has been produced, as well as the proclivity for violence at the smallest provocation between competing political groups. Issue-based campaigns will also assist Nigerians in understanding what is vital when voting.

Presidential candidates and political party chairpersons running in the 2023 General Election recently signed the 2022 National Peace Accord on the prevention of violence and the promotion of issue-focused campaigns, which was organized by the National Peace Commission, which is led by former President Abdulsalmi Abubakar. It is hoped that as a result of this, Nigerians will see fewer sentiments and more answers and ideas about how their lives can improve, as well as how the country they love can lead in good governance, rule of law, infrastructure development, guaranteed security, socioeconomic prosperity, and unbreakable unity, faith, peace, and progress.

2023:  Political Parties and the Need for Issue-Based Campaigns

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