Beginning from today all registered political parties in the country are free to flag off their campaigns for the presidency, governorship, federal and state assembly positions in the 2023 elections.
During the five months period allowed by the Independent Electoral Commission for politicians to canvass for votes, 95 million Nigerians are already registered by INEC to decide the fate of those jostling for positions across the country.
Reports from states and major towns showed that the political parties are set for a criss country democratic carnival as they have invested millions of Naira on stickers, campaign trucks, jingles and advertisement on Radio and Television stations.
As the hustling for votes begin today, stakeholders have sued for violent free campaign across the country asking politicians to refrain from mayhem.
The stakeholders enjoined the electorate to critically examine themselves before deciding which candidate and party to cast their votes as Investigations conducted by The Hope showed that many voters might be persuaded to still vote based on platitudes of ethnicity, religion while others are still undecided waiting for the campaigns to make up their minds
As political parties are set to begin campaign for the 2023 general election, politicians have been charged to base campaign on issues that will have effect on the lives of citizens.
Those who spoke with The Hope are; former Deputy National President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joseph Akinlaja, political analyst from Ikare Akoko, Mr Marshall Ojuolape, an elderstateman, Elder Ayo Arogundade.
Others are: Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee, PCRC, Okeagbe Akoko Police Division, Chief Olutayo Balogun, Ado-Ekiti based politician, Mr Ajayi Eleyinmi and Abayomi Adegoke.
They saidthere should be a complete departure of old ways of doing politicking by focusing on issue based campaign devoid of things that can divide the country.
Former Deputy National President NLC, Comrade Joseph Akinlaja said the campaigns for the 2023 general elections are opportunity for Nigerian voters to consider their current situation before determining who gets their votes.
His words: “People must understand their situation before determining what to do. Voters should examine themselves. Where are they now in terms of their personal welfare? How was their condition some ten, fifteen, twenty years ago? How have they been voting before? Have their votes produced what they wanted? If not, should they continue in that stead?”
He added that “I believe that every human being wants a better life. We all want our today to be better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. That should determine how people vote. They should examine themselves in terms of their security, economy, education of the youths and their hope for the future. How do they want their future and the future of their children to be?”
Former Executive Assistant on MDGs (Now SDG) to former Governor of Osun State, Abayomi Adegoke said parties and their candidates should focused on issues based campaigns devoid of ethnicity, tribe , religion, sentiment among others that is capable of dividing the country rather should focus on issues that will unite the nation as it were now.
He disclosed that there must departure from the old order, that is, campaign of calumny from one party against another political party/candidate(s).
Adegoke hinted that Nigerians are in daring need of a new set of leaders who will lead by example and do the talk. Enough of promises that may not be realistic.
A political analyst from Ikare Akoko, Mr Marshall Ojuolape, urged political parties to sell their manifestos to the electorates and not embark on empty promises to win votes from the public, particularly, the uneducated voters.
Ojuolape want politicians to concentrate on telling the electorates on how best to get the country out of her present economic quagmire.
The chairman, Police Community Relations Committee, PCRC, Okeagbe Akoko Police Division, Chief Olutayo Balogun, cautioned political parties against the use of youths as thugs to forment troubles during campaigns.
Political analyst in Ekiti State, Elder Ayo Arogundade, has advised politician to play the game according to the rule.
On his part, the Ado-Ekiti based politician, Mr Ajayi Eleyinmi advised members of the political class to educate their followers on the need to maintain peace and avoid using words that may set the country on fire.
He admonished them to come up with the manifesto which may rekindle the hope of the electorate, rather than engaging in verbal words.
Additional reporters are