There is no denying the fact that prior to the current stage in the ongoing political administration, not a few Nigerians supported journalists and activists affiliated with various civil society groups committed to achieving good governance and making recommendations that are They presented in calling for people-centered leadership of politicians seeking to run in the upcoming general and presidential elections scheduled for February 2023. The general consensus was that aspiring candidates must possess the necessary qualifications to hold senior government positions.

In the above context, not a few Nigerians were unanimous in their opinion that something was seriously wrong with the notion that journalists, lawyers, bankers and other professionals who dominate various sectors of the economy are held to higher minimum standards than aspiring politicians. For politicians, even rebels and scoundrels are considered leaders as long as they are popular with the rank and file. That’s populism for you!

To be sure, the above regressive political trend is reprehensibly viewed as an aberration and a paradox, as the politicians who will be in various political positions to write laws, conduct the nation’s business, approve the nation’s budget and spending, and make bills of the highest morality. fiber, and who are expected to be appreciably healthy; intelligently and morally, they are left to compete for leadership positions that have a direct bearing on the collective destiny of people, without being held to a higher standard.

In fact, it’s not that they weren’t called to tell the people what qualified them for the charges they’re fighting, they were called to do so. Unfortunately, we are in a country where political supporters and supporters view such calls as smear campaigns. In fact, when they are reminded of their Achilles heels or shortcomings, they will say that they are the subject of a smear or smear campaign without being realistic or objectively facing the issue at hand. We have had the problem of questioning the wisdom of running a sick candidate for elective office only to have his supporters resort to emotional appeal by saying that candidate was mocked, rather than being realistic and admitting the fact that the present The The state of the Nigerian economy is too complicated for anyone battling ill-health to revive.

It is sad to say that what people call a smear campaign in this part of the world is what people in other climates consider a democratic ideal that calls for political parties to engender systems that produce high-level politicians to stand on their feet. for election in their constituencies.

On a personal note, the fact that we are misunderstanding what a smear campaign means should not blind us collectively to the fact that honesty and integrity are the two key elements that politicians running for political office or public office must possess.

Given the above, it is equally recommended that any aspiring politician who has been charged or implicated in or by other jurisdictions, such as the United States and Europe, refrain from political involvement until the circumstances are fully resolved.

In fact, Nigeria’s democracy has reached the point where people must demand that political parties stop fielding candidates of questionable character. Nigerian politics has reached the stage where criminals and corrupt politicians must be protected from running in elections that will land them in critical political office, and it must start with those who represent us in government. As for politicians of questionable character seeking elective office in parliament, they should be made to understand that, being the people who represent us in the legislative chambers, they should be made to set an example for the laws they would be busy making, while those in the executive arm of government must be done to demonstrate character that would portray them to be leaders who are of impeccable integrity and trust when successfully elected to various political offices.

The reason for the above cannot be far-fetched, as it is no longer news that the key requirements of political candidates must be honesty, good moral values, qualification in their respective constituencies, proper education, and a vision and mission. clear to the Nigerian leadership.

In fact, this writer subscribes to the political thinking that political candidates must live in the constituencies they represent, and condemns situations in which politicians of dubious credentials and character emerge as political aspirants in a society where not a few professions require qualifications and a impeccable ethical disposition. be admitted to. The justification for expressing this point of view cannot be far-fetched since politics deals with the most complex national problems, so people who call themselves politicians must be well behaved and educated.

More unsatisfying is that politicians who supposedly have questionable character and credentials get away with running for various political posts. Whenever they are called into question for shortcomings found in them, particularly regarding their character and credentials, they will hide under the cloak of being maligned and slandered. Worse yet, the people have been turned away for the umpteenth time as this category of politicians continues to decline invitations offered by an assembled team of leading thinkers committed to the issues that political parties should address in the run-up to general and presidential elections. . which are scheduled to take place in February 2023, and in the period immediately following the formation of the Government.

In the above context, it is appropriate to urge Nigerians to vote for candidates who are clean, after asking critical questions about the aspiring candidates in their constituencies.

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