Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged Nigerians to vote wisely in the 2023 general elections, warning that the country might be consumed if the wrong choice was made. He however refrained from suggesting a candidate for the electorate.
Eighteen political parties submitted candidates for the 25 February 2023 presidential election, but four of them are considered as front runners. They are: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, Labour Party’s Mr Peter Obi, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Obasanjo, who was Special Guest at the Wilson Badejo Foundation’s 15th annual lecture which has the theme, “Overcoming the Twin Challenge of Poverty and Insecurity in Nigeria” held in Lagos, said Nigeria would only make progress if the right choice of candidate was made in next year’s elections.
“It is either we make the right choice in 2023 because if we make the right choice, we would get there. However, if we do not make the right choice in 2023, things would consume us and we pray against that one. We must make the right choice in 2023″, the former military and civilian ruler projected.
He blamed poverty and insecurity as the drawback to Nigeria taken its rightful position.
“My friend, late Ahmed Joda, used to tell me that God has given us everything a nation needs and there’s no need for prayers because, if God has given you everything and you squandered it, then something is wrong.
“I told him that even at that, we still need prayers as a nation because what is good needs prayers and on the other side too, we still need more prayers,” Obasanjo said.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof Eghosa Osaghea, who is the Guest Speaker, explained that when “one’s country fails the individual, then that individual becomes a failure”.
According to him, “poverty cannot divide us but it binds us. What divides us is corruption. If you see street protests across the world, it is the poor who do it. Corruption, by whatever means, is what causes division.
“Many people today dig their boreholes for water, employ private security units, etc, yet, these are things that the state should have put in place. It is the duty of the state to provide these for the common good of all”.