Don’t bring Nigeria to disrepute with negative rhetoric over 2023 election – Fashola tells politicians

As 2023 elections draw nearer, Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, has said elections can be won without politicians delving into negative rhetoric aimed at bringing the country to disrepute on the global stage.

He said rather than exploit the country’s fault lines to appeal to some sections of voters, politicians and candidates for elective positions can speak to issues and highlight how they plan to solve the challenges.

He made this known at the annual lecture of The Niche with the theme, ‘2023 elections and the future of Nigeria’s democracy’, held at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos State on Thursday.

Those present at the event include the First Republic politician, Tanko Yakasai, former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, former NIMASA Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, among others.

Speaking, the former Lagos State governor said elections can be won without exaggerating Nigeria’s problems, adding that Nigerians, particularly politicians must keep to issues rather than playing up the country’s challenges at every opportunity.

“We can win elections without disrobing our country before the global community. We can do so by valorising and clinging on to hope of Nigeria’s possibilities and not by widening our fault lines,” the minister who is the guest speaker at the event said.

Furthermore, he urged Nigerians to pay more attention to local elections in their domain during next year’s general elections in Nigeria.

He said rather than focus on the central elections and who becomes the next president, it was important that Nigerians divert their attention to elections in their Local Government Areas, Local Council Development Areas, State House of Assembly, among others.

He said those saddled with responsibility of ensuring Nigerians enjoy dividends of democracy are those in local elective offices and as such, the people must be interested in local elections as against more attention being paid to central elections.

He said contrary to insinuations and opposition, the democracy system of government delivers more dividends to Nigerians than any other system of government in the country.

He added Nigerians are faced with another choice in 2023 and it behooves them to choose rightly during next year’s election in strengthening the nation’s democracy.

He urged the Nigerian media and practitioners to also ensure issues affecting the people are given prominence in their reportage rather than giving all the spotlights to the politicians and frontline candidates for the 2023 elections.

“The media must focus its attention on news affecting the majority of potential voters. On how healthcare, education, security of lives and property of Nigerians can be improved,” Fashola said.