Nigeria: 2023 – Nigerians Want Next President to Prioritise Security

About 42 per cent of the respondents said the next president should prioritize tackling insecurity.

The majority of Nigerians who participated in an online poll want the next president to prioritise tackling insecurity across the country before other challenges.

About 42 per cent of the respondents that took part in the poll by PREMIUM TIMES believe that security should be the priority of the next president.

Security was followed by the economy (30.1 per cent) with electricity and tackling corruption completing the four options respondents had.

The reason most respondents preferred that security be prioritised is, arguably, understandable.

Many parts of Nigeria are currently riddled with incessant attacks ranging from killings and kidnappings-for-ransom to communal clashes. Data released by the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) shows that at least 2,968 people were killed and 1,484 abducted in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2022. And in the first half of 2022 alone, at least 250 people have been killed by bandits in the Zamfara State with thousands abducted.

The data says some of the most violent states in the country are Niger, Zamfara, Borno, Kaduna and Kebbi. However, killings in the Southeastern states have been on the rise in recent months and residents of the states have witnessed gruesome attacks by armed persons suspected to be members of the proscribed group, IPOB.

Also, about a third of the respondents (30.1 per cent) preferred that the next president focuses on the economy.

A lot of Nigerians are currently battling with high inflation as the prices of food items like bread and cereals, potatoes, yams, and other tubers, oil, and fat.

In the past months, high increases were recorded in prices of gas, liquid fuel, passenger transport by air, passenger travel by road, and solid fuel. And this, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, was caused by soaring food prices, disruption in the food supply chain, rise in import cost due to currency depreciation, increase in the cost of production and recently, floods across the country.

The third set of respondents (14.3 per cent) voted for electricity – apparently in response to the nation’s irregular power supply and the consistent collapse of the national grid.

While the government blames poor management and low gas supply as the major causes of the repeated breakdown of the grid, many Nigerians say the poor power supply in the country has crippled many business activities.

And the reason about 13 per cent of respondents voted for corruption could be justified by the belief that the presence of corrupt officials in government and key sectors makes it easier for other ills to thrive. Some who commented on the poll said the cases of insecurity, poor electricity and the dwindling economy are caused by corrupt officials who are either sponsoring terrorists or syphoning funds meant for the implementation of policies.

Some serving and former government officials have been accused or convicted of corruption charges. President Muhammadu Buhari has also been accused of frustrating the anti-graft agencies’ fight against corruption when he pardoned two ex-governors who were serving jail terms for corruption.

The Presidential Candidates

Although most of the presidential candidates contesting in the 2023 election have presented their manifestoes and plans for the country, none has said what problems they would prioritise.

A total of 18 presidential candidates have been registered by the electoral umpire, INEC, to participate in the 25 February 2023 election. Some of them have already started campaigns.

Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has made promises like providing employment for youth with decent wages and improving manufacturing.

The major promises of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, include restoring Nigeria’s unity through equity, social justice, and cooperation and ensuring the safety and security of life and properties.

Peter Obi of the Labour Party has promised to build a new Nigeria devoid of mass poverty and criminalities, as well as boost electricity and implement diaspora voting.

The poll

The poll, which ran on PREMIUM TIMES’ official Twitter handle, lasted for 24 hours.

The voters were asked a single question: “Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?”

– Electricity.

– Insecurity.

– Economy.

– Corruption.

A total of 1,693 people voted. About 42.2 per cent of the respondents voted for insecurity, 30.1 per cent voted for the economy, 14.2 per cent for electricity and 13.5 per cent voted for the fight against corruption.

In the comment section of the poll, some respondents said the constitution was the major problem and should be changed. Others said all the challenges need urgent attention and should be tackled simultaneously.

For Olugbenga Kayode, “culture will always have breakfast solutions to all of the above. Fix culture and our value system and you fix everything simultaneously, of course, over time.”

“First, face insecurity, guarantee the atmosphere for economic growth. While at it, arrest corruption in the security apparatus. As we stabilise, focus on electricity. The economy will explode. Since corruption is systemic, it’ll take strong institutions plus time to kill it,” Jeffrey Uchech tweeted.

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