Nigeria is at a critical juncture in its history. The upcoming presidential election on February 25, 2023, presents a unique opportunity for the country to chart a new course towards political stability, economic growth, and social development. However, this can only happen if Nigerians rise to the occasion and choose leaders who are not only competent but also possess the character to lead the country towards a prosperous future.

To understand why Nigeria needs to get it right this time, we must first trace the country’s past political situation. Since independence in 1960, Nigeria has experienced several coups and counter-coups, ethnic and religious conflicts, economic mismanagement, and rampant corruption. These challenges have hindered the country’s progress, with millions of Nigerians living in poverty and insecurity.

One of the main reasons for Nigeria’s failure in the past is the lack of competent leadership. Politicians have often been chosen based on party affiliation rather than capacity and competence. This has led to the election of leaders who lack the skills and knowledge to govern effectively. Furthermore, some leaders have used their positions for personal gain, resulting in widespread corruption and impunity.

To ensure that Nigeria does not repeat the mistakes of the past, the upcoming election must prioritize capacity, competence, and character above party affiliation. Nigerians must choose leaders who have a proven track record of success in their respective fields, possess a deep understanding of the country’s challenges, and have a vision for a better future. In the words of Winston Churchill, “The price of greatness is responsibility,” and Nigerians must choose leaders who are willing to take responsibility for the country’s progress.

It is also essential that the elected leaders prioritize economic growth and social development. Nigeria is rich in natural resources and has a large, talented population. However, the country’s potential has not been fully realized due to the lack of good governance and economic policies. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Therefore, Nigerians must hold their leaders accountable and demand policies that promote economic growth, job creation, and social development.

It is essential to recognize the importance of unity and inclusivity in Nigeria’s political development. The country is diverse, with over 250 ethnic groups and various religions. Therefore, it is crucial to have leaders who can unite the country and promote social cohesion. As Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

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Nigeria is on a threshold of history, and the upcoming election presents a unique opportunity for the country to move forward towards a better future. Nigerians must choose leaders based on capacity, competence, and character, and prioritize economic growth and social development. The country must also promote unity and inclusivity to achieve lasting peace and prosperity. As Nnamdi Azikiwe once said, “Let us unite and work together for the progress and greatness of our beloved country.”

In addition, it is important to note that Nigeria is a diverse nation with over 250 ethnic groups and multiple religions, which has often led to political and social tensions. This diversity can be a strength if managed well, but it has often been a source of conflict and division.

To move forward and create a better future for Nigeria, it is essential that the upcoming presidential election be based on the principles of capacity, competence, and character, rather than just party affiliation. Nigerians must choose leaders who have a clear vision for the country and are capable of executing that vision, regardless of which political party they belong to.

As former South African President Nelson Mandela once said, “The quality of the leaders is the most important single factor determining whether any organization, institution, or country will rise or fall.” Nigeria needs leaders who are honest, accountable, and committed to the common good of all Nigerians, not just their own personal interests.

It is also crucial that Nigerians actively participate in the electoral process by registering to vote, educating themselves about the candidates and issues, and turning out to vote on Election Day. As former US President John F. Kennedy famously said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

Finally, to achieve a better future for Nigeria, it is important to address the root causes of past failures. This includes tackling corruption, improving infrastructure and basic services, creating job opportunities for the youth, promoting social cohesion, and investing in education and healthcare.

As former Nigerian President Nnamdi Azikiwe once said, “Leadership is not a gift, it is a responsibility.” Let us all take responsibility for the future of Nigeria by choosing our leaders wisely and working together to build a prosperous and united nation.

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To achieve these goals, it is important for Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable and demand transparency and good governance. This requires a strong civil society that can act as a watchdog and hold leaders accountable for their actions.

As former Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Each Nigerian has a role to play in creating a better future for their country by embodying the values of integrity, hard work, and civic responsibility.

In conclusion, Nigeria is on the threshold of history, and the upcoming presidential election provides an opportunity for the country to chart a new course towards a better future. By choosing leaders based on capacity, competence, and character, actively participating in the electoral process, addressing the root causes of past failures, and holding leaders accountable, Nigerians can build a prosperous and united nation that is a beacon of hope for the rest of Africa and the world.

As former Nigerian leader Obafemi Awolowo once said, “The greatest legacy we can pass on to our children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in our life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” Let us all work towards building a legacy of character and faith for the future of Nigeria.

To achieve these goals, it is important for the Nigerian government to prioritize key areas such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and job creation. Investing in these areas will not only improve the quality of life for Nigerians, but also create an enabling environment for economic growth and development.

As former US President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This sentiment is especially important in Nigeria, where citizens must take ownership of their own development and contribute to the progress of their communities and the nation as a whole.

Furthermore, Nigeria must address issues of corruption and impunity, which have been major obstacles to progress in the past. This requires strengthening institutions and implementing policies that promote accountability, transparency, and the rule of law.

As former South African leader Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Although Nigeria faces significant challenges, including insecurity, poverty, and inequality, it is possible to overcome these obstacles and build a brighter future for all Nigerians.

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In conclusion, the 2023 Nigerian presidential election represents a crucial opportunity for the country to turn the page on its past failures and build a more prosperous and united nation. By prioritizing key areas such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and job creation, and addressing issues of corruption and impunity, Nigerians can create a better future for themselves and their children. As former Nigerian leader Nnamdi Azikiwe once said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Let us all work towards preparing for a brighter future for Nigeria today.

In order to ensure a successful election and build a brighter future for Nigeria, there are several recommendations that should be taken into account.

Firstly, it is important for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the election is free, fair, and transparent. This can be achieved by addressing issues of voter intimidation, ballot box stuffing, and other forms of electoral malpractice. INEC should also ensure that the electoral process is inclusive, allowing for the participation of all eligible citizens.

Secondly, political parties should prioritize the selection of candidates based on their capacity, competence, and character, rather than party affiliation. This will help ensure that the most qualified and capable candidates are elected to lead Nigeria towards a better future.

Thirdly, civil society organizations, the media, and other stakeholders should play an active role in monitoring the electoral process and holding elected officials accountable. This will help ensure that the voices of the people are heard and that the government is held accountable for its actions.

Finally, there is a need for increased civic education and voter awareness campaigns to encourage Nigerians to participate in the electoral process and make informed choices. This can help ensure that the election reflects the will of the people and that the government is representative of the interests and aspirations of all Nigerians.

In summary, by taking these recommendations into account, Nigeria can ensure a successful and peaceful presidential election in 2023, and begin the process of building a brighter future for all Nigerians.

Chidi Okoro Esq
Political Analyst and Current Affairs Commentator

chidiokorowec@gmail.com