2023: Ensure issue-based campaign – Group tells politicians

The National President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, has called on Nigerians not to vote on sentiments of religion, tribe or section in the 2023 election, saying that may spell doom for the future of the country.

He advised that Nigerians should cast their votes devoid of any sentiment, saying candidates should be supported based on merit.

Speaking to newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said, “The constitution of the country has provided Nigerians with another opportunity to elect leaders of their choice to pilot the affairs of the country in the next four years. Nigerians should be able to learn from the mistakes of the past and cast their votes to candidates that have the experience, exposure and are issue-based in tackling the challenges of the country.”

He added, “Nigerians should be conscious and know that this is the country we all belong to and we have no other country. We should be patriotic and should be wise enough not to be carried away by sentiments but we should sincerely give our votes to who will sincerely pilot the affairs of the country successfully for the overall benefit of all.”

“We have hope for better change, hopefully with the situation on ground, everybody has seen it all, Nigerians have become more politically conscious, I believed strongly that Nigerians will look for better options and make a choice among the candidates we have. If we cannot get it right now, then it will be too dangerous for us in the country in the years ahead,” he said.

He appealed to candidates to be issue-based in their campaigns so that Nigerians would have a better option to choose who to cast their votes for, saying that Nigerians should be mindful of who to cast their votes to in order to ensure hope is restored in the country.

According to him, the future of democracy in the country is bright, believing that Nigerians have learned their lessons and with the present situation in Nigeria, Nigerians have become very conscious of what is good for them and will not allow themselves to be toyed around by selfish politicians who are after themselves.

He believed that at the moment, Nigerians are very much divided and anything that would bring further disunity should be totally discouraged, expressing delight that the government and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the campaign is issue based devoid of hate speech for the unity and development of the country.

Shettima then called on Nigerians to rise to the occasion by ensuring that next year’s elections are free, fair and credible, stressing that efforts should be made to do away with sectional, religious and tribal politics that would further divide the country.