By Idowu Isamotu and Philip Shimnom Clemente
A cross-section of the participants in the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue also expressed their views on the political situation in the country.
The electorate does not know what the candidates stand for: Shehu Sani
A former senator, who represented Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, said many Nigerians do not understand what the candidates stand for in major spheres of national life.
He said: “Every time Nigeria enters an election season, there is talk of Nigeria being at a crossroads.
“It is a make or break situation, and it constitutes a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria, but there is a key word here, which is interrogation and it is very important.
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“If you choose an average Nigerian, it will be difficult at this time in the election for them to say what these candidates stand for in education, sports, foreign policy, sports and pretty much everything. It is so unusual and we just repeat what has been done.
“It is like the INEC in each election, they will tell you that they are serious with sensitive and insensitive materials ready, and then on election day, which is usually Saturday, they deliver materials at 12 or 1 in the afternoon, it has always been his way.
“It’s so ridiculous in Nigeria today that many people in Nigeria don’t know what their candidate stands for.”
He added: “That mentality of speaking at Chatham House is just normal practice, it has even gotten to a point where candidates just wave and dance for two minutes to a nation of 211 million people and the rally is over. How can you choose leaders based on this type of presentation?
Why is there voter apathy –Dahiru Suleiman
A former Nigerian ambassador to Sudan, Dahiru Suleiman, said voter apathy is a result of the kind of politics being practiced in Nigeria.
He said: “If you don’t know anyone, you can’t be anything. What I have seen is not the kind of politics that I saw then. If you’re not connected to a politician, no matter how brilliant you are, you’re not going anywhere.
“If we don’t change, we will continue to fall. What we have now is a government of the privileged few by the privileged few and for the privileged few.
“In Nigeria, we have not understood that we are a developing country. The kind of official vehicles that government officials drive in this country is amazing! No country that wants to develop will spend a lot of its money importing SUVs like we do in Nigeria.
“I have served in 9 different countries and nowhere have I seen what is happening in Nigeria and everywhere I have been we are the most corrupt.”
FG should guarantee security to Nigerians –Gabriel Adiku
For his part, the president of the North Center People’s Congress, Gabriel Adiku, said the federal government should assure Nigerians that insecurity will not affect the elections.
He praised the Media Trust Group for keeping the dialogue going over the years.
He stated: “This year’s dialogue is interesting as Nigeria will struggle with technology and we are sure technology will play a role, but we are still at a crossroads.”