By Obas Esiedesa & Joseph Erunke
With the take off of campaigns for the 2023 general election, civil society group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, CTA, has challenged presidential candidates of political parties to unveil to Nigerians plans to tackle the energy and insecurity challenges facing the country.
The group said such plans or manifestos must be backed up by a court affidavit making them legal documents that could enable court actions when not fully implemented.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi said candidates must go beyond just rhetoric by providing actionable plans on how to solve the nation’s problems.
Nwadishi explained that issue-based campaigns “is essential for safe electioneering”.
According to her, “In recent years, Nigeria has been inundated with severe security challenges that have almost brought the everyday activity of Nigerians to a halt. Sacred security institutions, infrastructure, very important persons, schools, worship centres, children and Nigerian citizens have been left to the mercy of bandits, kidnappers, and sundry criminals.
“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.
“Nigeria is a major producer of crude oil and gas that should ordinarily translate to economic blessing and energy boost. Nigeria is equally blessed with wind power and other natural resources that will enhance the energy needs of Nigeria if harnessed and put in good use. This year alone, the National grid has failed about seven times subjecting Nigerians to darkness, less productive and darkness notwithstanding the abundance of natural gas that could power the nation as alternative source of energy. CTA is asking that elimination of gas flare and high cost of petroleum products be made a campaign issue. Energy options have become imperative.
“Political parties should consider and in fact include discussions on fuel subsidy and domestic consumption of fuel in their campaigns. Our demand is that political parties and their candidates should tell Nigerians how they will cushion the effect of high energy cost, whether fuel subsidies will stay or go and how they will provide renewable energy options since that is where the world is going now”.
CTA also drew the attention of the candidates on the prolonged strike action by university lecturers, warning that the Federal Government’s failure to resolve the issue would damage the education system in the country.
Other issues raised by the group include fiscal responsibility and anti-corruption; gender and inclusiveness; and protection of civic space.