Electoral violence has become a recurrent decimal in Nigeria’s nascent democracy largely due to unrestraint resort to hate-speeches. However, the two major political parties have promised to conduct solely issue-based campaigns. Patrick Andrew highlights the campaign issues raised by the APC and PDP released some 72 hours ago.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in response to persistent public call for violent- free campaigns, said with the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate for the 2019 election, it is set to especially, engage the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) on issue-based campaign.
Oshiomhole said, “unlike the other party which printed only one presidential form and came up with 2 million signatures from unverified individuals in 2015 , the APC chose a more democratic process, using the direct primary method which gave all registered party members a true sense of participation”.
He said that the APC would scrutinise the records of whoever the opposition party, especially the PDP, brought up as its presidential candidate for the 2019 election. This, he said, would be done with a view to bringing their past deeds to the public to enable them to make good choice.
“The other party is choosing its candidate in Port-Harcourt, we will look at the records of the opponent, we will look at his pedigree, we will challenge them on their track records,”he said.
The Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation took up the gauntlet assuring that it will run an issue-based campaign ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Segun Showunmi, Spokesman of the organisation, in a statement accepted the call for issue-based campaigns by linking the mismanaged campaigns in previous elections to some of the problems currently facing the country.
He assured that Atiku has adopted issue-based campaigns devoid of slandering and name calling. “We hold the view that unguarded narrative hurts the country and further divides us as a people.
“Elections come every four years in our country and if great effort is not taken, we could hurt the country and its people needlessly and invariably our democracy.
“We have to sign up to these ideals, we can campaign without recourse to hate speech, libels, lies, undue criminalisation of people and each other.’’
The spokesman advised all other political parties to also run issue-based campaigns, saying there was greater value in doing so.
He said: “Nigeria is the most populous black nation on earth and we owe it to ourselves and the black race to be above board.’’
“Next Level” campaign:
The plan aims at six major issue it the President intends to pursue including jobs creation: 1m to engage N-Power graduates, Skill up 10m Nigerians under a voucher system in partner with the private sector.
It promises major infrastructure that cuts across the six regions. A minimum of 1,000mw new generation incremental power capacity per annum on the Grid to bring to a total of a minimum of 11,000MW.
Others are economy and SMEs, ease of doing business, technology and security and anti-corruption. Decentralise the funding of police operations and implement a direct transfer of funding to the Police Division all across.
What we promised
Four years ago, we promised Nigerians real change – in what we do and how we do it. Nigerians sent a clear message in the last election, and our platform offered a new, ambitious plan for a secure, prosperous and corruption-free country.
We have worked hard to fulfil our promises – and while the road may have been difficult, over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a strong, stable and prosperous country for the majority of our people.
Foundational work is not often visible, neither is it glamorous – but it is vital to achieving the kind of country we desire.
Judging by the prior depth of decay, deterioration and disrepair that Nigeria had sunken into, we are certain that these past few years have put us in good stead to trudge on the Next Level of building an even stronger nation for our people.
What we achieved
We were a nation at war – but we delivered on our commitment to secure the territorial integrity of our nation in the face of a raging insurgency that devastated many parts of the North East.
We liberated 17 Local Government Areas from the grip of insurgency. Brokering and sustaining peace in the Niger Delta has also been crucial to stabilising the polity.
Despite the difficult circumstances presented by weak oil prices and reduced oil production, we delivered on our commitment to make public investments to spur economic growth, job creation, and broad-based prosperity.
Agriculture continues to expand our economic base, as do our investments in deficient infrastructure across the length and breadth of this nation.
We implemented a responsible and transparent fiscal plan for the challenging economic times that saw us doing more even with lesser oil revenues.
Grand scale corruption perpetrated at the highest level of government is now a thing of the past, just as the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has made it more difficult for ministries, departments and agencies to exercise the unrestrained liberties that helped foster a climate conducive to corruption.
The nation’s wealth is now being invested in capital projects to expand infrastructure and connect people, goods and opportunities by rail, road and air. Also, the Federal Government supported state governments with bailouts that enabled them to pay workers on their payroll.
We took an unprecedented step towards creating a fairer and more equitable society by implementing Africa’s biggest social investment programme.
Through the National Social Investment Programme, we are providing direct support to over 13 million Nigerians who need it by giving relief and assistance to unemployed youth, our children, the weak and vulnerable as well as small and medium businesses.
But even as we lay the foundation for a stable and prosperous nation, we acknowledge there is still much to do. The Next Level of effort focuses on job creation across various sectors.
Focus of Next Level
From an enlargement of the N-Power programme to investing in technology and creative sector jobs to agriculture and revolutionising access to credit for entrepreneurs and artisans, there is scope for over 15 million new jobs.
The march away from a mono-economy must continue with our industrialisation plan coming to fore. With specific plans underway to exploit the comparative advantage of the geopolitical zones and different states by developing 6 Industrial Parks and 109 Special Production and Processing Centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district, our incremental move away from oil dependence is assured.
In addition, our development of the Special Economic Zones will quickly concretise our Made in Nigeria for Export (MINE) plan. To sustain food production and value addition, our mechanisation policy for agriculture will make tractors and processors easily accessible and available for farmers across Nigeria.
We will continue a wide scale training policy, prioritising technology to reach the demography of young people within the productive sector on a massive scale even as we create jobs and growth within our economy.
We believe that our people who are still in poverty have a direct way out and up through our expanded National Social Investment Programme. We believe we can implement the painstaking and comprehensive policy and work we have done to bring an end to the perennial conflict between farmers and herders – a conflict which is heightened by a struggle for land, water and pasture and the effects of climate change and every now and then, opportunistic and cynical manipulation by political actors.
We are implementing a blend of measures that ensures that justice, order, modernisation and new economic paradigms emerge.
Perhaps our biggest ambition yet is the overhaul of our education sector. Every child counts – and simply, whatever it takes to prepare our teachers, curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals that grow our country, will be done.