Home Community Insights Nigeria: The Moral Panic Over 2023 Presidential Candidates Isn’t Enough

Nigeria: The Moral Panic Over 2023 Presidential Candidates Isn’t Enough

Nigeria: The Moral Panic Over 2023 Presidential Candidates Isn’t Enough

Nigerians will elect civilians for the purpose of ruling them using democratic values for the seventh year if they make it to various voting centers in 2023. Since 2020, people and members of civil society organisations have been advocating for a president who will improve the country’s socioeconomic and political characteristics, as was the case in the last election cycle. Previous administrations, they believe, were unable to handle significant socioeconomic and political issues across the country.

Nigeria requires presidential candidates who are not corrupt or who will not gain unneeded fortune for himself and his associates while in power, from politically exposed citizens to public affairs analysts. Our analysis of these stakeholders’ perspectives reveals a high level of concern based on the political antecedents of politicians who have declared interest in running for president in 2023.

Since 2020, these stakeholders have been referring to potential candidates’ alleged corruption activities and actual corruption charges. Apart from the corruption issue that hangs over the candidates’ heads, their previous stance on the selection of candidates for various political offices in their respective regions is another source of concern for civic stakeholders. In this domain, submission has been that if one of the candidates is elected president, he or she will impose his or her beliefs on the majority.

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It is unsurprising that public affairs analysts and members of civil society organizations are moral entrepreneurs when it comes to ensuring that various political parties field the best candidates during the election. Members of socio-cultural and political organizations from around the country, however, are demanding for candidates to be chosen based on regional interests. According to our findings, members of southern socio-cultural and political organizations have generally supported presidential candidates from the region. They have threatened that the southern region will not vote for any political party that fails to nominate their sons and daughters as candidates for the election in the majority of their suggestions.

Nigerians are also becoming increasingly concerned as some incumbent governors who have failed to bring desired social and economic growth to their states have expressed interest in leading the country. The biggest concern is how a governor who has failed to pay workers’ salaries for several months and undertake long-term infrastructure projects will be able to govern Nigeria successfully.

Because of the nature and qualities of Nigeria’s political system and institutions since 1999, which have continued to reproduce past politicians, these panics are required. However, as the country prepares for elections in 2023, our expert observes that concerned stakeholders must move beyond voicing various sorts of anxiety. There is a need for strong advocacy and civic participation in order for voters, particularly those in rural areas, to be able to distinguish between good and bad candidates.

Citizens will have another opportunity in 2023 to elect a president who has the ability and capacity to effectively use existing human and material resources for the benefit of all citizens. Therefore, moral panics should be channeled into actual answers to current difficulties in the electoral process cycle.

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