The group said due to the challenges of leadership and bad governance, Nigerians, who are vital resources to the development of Nigeria, are willingly leaving the country in droves.
Students of Set 17 of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development Centre (LSD) have called on Nigerians to vote in leaders who will address major issues such as poverty and insecurity in 2023.
They said while Nigeria will not be able to tackle insecurity until it addresses poverty, candidates who are running for different offices must make infrastructure, education and healthcare their priority.
The students of the group, who have been on a 12-month-long leadership course, made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
Addressing journalists at the conference, Ojoba Daniels, governor of the group, said many Nigerians are hungry and desperate, hence the reason they have taken to crime.
He admonished Nigerians to take the above premise for choosing the right leader that will enthrone the right leadership and good governance come 2023.
Mr Daniels said the group deemed it necessary to address candidates and Nigerians now, especially as the nation prepare for general elections.
He noted the worsening state of insecurity across the country – characterised by kidnappings, banditry, and assassinations, among others.
Mr Daniels also decried the growing fear within the federal capital, arising from recent attacks in several parts of the city, as well as threats from unknown sources.
Due to the challenge of leadership and bad governance, he explained, citizens, who are vital resources to the development of Nigeria, are willingly leaving the country in droves and putting up their skills, knowledge, and potential to be used by foreign countries to develop or grow their human capital index.
“I believe one of the ways to tackle this problem is to go down to the grassroots,” Mr Daniels said.” “We have to take care of the grassroots because if there is poverty in the land, there is every tendency that it will lead to insecurity because anyone that wants to feed might do anything.
“They (the government) should focus on the grassroots and tell them that they can take care of them. If you don’t take care of those who are hungry in the land, insecurity will be there.”
Aisha Mohammed, a member of the group, said Nigerians should do more in holding elected officials to account.
She urged citizens to hold elected officers accountable.
“If a candidate comes and says they would do this and it is not done – with people talking about it, they would be forced to do it,” she said. “We will get to a point that if you don’t have the capacity to work, you won’t run.”
The group also called on Nigerians to ensure they collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and vote at the various level of elections – national and state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the presidential and National Assembly elections for 25 February while the governorship and state assembly elections for 11 March, 2022.