The Chatham House invited Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidates for the Labour Party and the All-Progressives Congress, on different days and in different years. The pair, who have been dubbed as two dominant contenders, have spoken at the House about their plans for Nigeria. Nigeria, national security, development, and policy were Senator Tinubu’s main discussion points. Peter Obi also discussed governance, leadership, development, and Nigeria.
According to Senator Tinubu, Nigeria’s electoral democracy carries the same weight as the democracies of the African countries with which she shares a border. In order to have credible elections, the country must conduct its general elections properly in 2023. This is essential in order to give the incoming president the ability and capacity to make difficult choices that will advance the country. He asserts that the more prosperous Nigeria becomes, the more prosperous the rest of Africa will be because Nigeria has long served as the continent’s main supporter. Peter Obi also claims that a number of irregularities were present in previous elections. As a result, the fraudulent electoral system has benefited presidents who have ruled the nation based on the results of recent elections. He claims that as a result, Nigeria is now a failing state. Senator Tinubu did not consider this position.
Senator Bola Tinubu believes that Nigeria has always developed its strategic policies and programs in accordance with the best international practices in order to improve the lot of the people at home. Despite his desire to help Nigeria take advantage of more global opportunities, Mr. Peter Obi’s speech does not adequately establish this.
According to Senator Tinubu, peace and stability cannot be achieved without addressing human needs by focusing on unity, integrity, sovereign independence, and means of subsistence. Mr. Peter Obi is also committed to pursuing economic and social policies that benefit people’s lives. Senator Bola Tinubu believes that, in addition to ensuring human needs and physical structure, an enabling environment must be provided for private sectors to thrive. His submission, however, suggests that he is likely to pursue neoliberal policies (see extract 11). This is also found in Mr Peter Obi’s speech, but his views on liberalism and communism are more than the neoliberalism ideological orientation.
Our analyst notes that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is silent on bad governance and leadership. This is not to say that the problems do not exist, but he feels they are not important enough to bring up for discussion at the House. Mr. Peter Obi believes that solving the two main problems is necessary for meaningful and sustainable development.
Nigeria as Nodal Point in Bola Tinubu’s Speech
- Equally, there are also countries whose elections, on account of their weight and influence, carry wider implications way beyond their immediate geographical boundaries. Nigeria is one of such countries.
- …This is particularly important because the next president of Nigeria will have some tough choices to make and will not be able to do so with a questionable electoral mandate.
- For one, as Africa’s most populous country and the continent’s largest economy, it is generally acknowledged that the fortunes of the African continent and indeed the Black race is tied directly to the health of Nigeria.
- At the best of times, and with reference to its foreign policy orientation since independence in 1960, and since the end of its civil war in 1970, Nigeria has always crafted its domestic national security and economic development policies with some strategic foreign policy imperatives in mind.
- On the one hand, to prosper at home in peace and stability, Nigeria needs to uphold its national security, unity, territorial integrity, sovereign independence, and the safety and well-being of its peoples.
- On the other hand, to secure itself, Nigeria not only requires to build and enhance the capacity of its armed forces but also the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens.
- Nigeria shares direct land borders with four sister African countries with whose peoples Nigerians also share historical and cultural affinities.
- This effectively means that the relationship between Nigeria and its immediate neighbours is much more than just a geographical expression.
- To be fully secure at home, Nigeria has always believed it must be the brothers’ keeper. It was out of this understanding that Africa’s premier regional economic community, ECOWAS, was established in 1975. Uniquely, ECOWAS had embedded in its mandate, the promotion of regional economic integration as a good in its own right and in addition undertook sub-regional peace and security.
- As a first step, we must recalibrate domestic policy in order to revamp the foundation on which our quest to pursue human security At one level, this will mean the pursuit with renewed vigour of growth-promoting, employment-creating, and poverty-eradicating policies at home as outlined in my Renewed Hope 2023: Action Plan for a Better Nigeria that I recently released to the Nigerian public.
- We have privatised power distribution in Nigeria and generation to a certain degree. What we need to do, going forward, is to improve the enabling environment and further reform the legal and regulatory framework to attract more private investments in the sector as we have experienced in the telecom industry.
- Amidst the changes taking place in global order, the primary duty of leadership in Nigeria – and, I dare say, all of Africa – is how within a vision of national development that is transformative and a strategy of national security that is human-centred, foreign policy is crafted, shared to fit and feed national priorities of rebirth and accelerated progress.
- This is the task to which my colleagues and I have committed ourselves as part of a broader project of leveraging our national assets and natural endowments to nurture and project a renewed Nigeria that will be a responsible and respected driver of prosperity and harmony in Africa and around the world.