2023: Nigeria’s make-or-break election – Adewale Martins
As the 2023 general election approaches, Nigerians have been advised to engage on issues that are pertinent to the survival of the nation, rather than ethnicity and religion while casting their votes.
The Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins gave this advice while addressing the press at the 44th Annual National Convention of Ladies of St Mulumba (LSM) Nigeria, which was held recently at the St Leo Catholic Church Ikeja, Lagos.
According to him, the heightened situation of insecurity and kidnappings is worrisome and this can be traced to a lack of good governance over time.
“One can’t sleep with two eyes closed, even when you are at home; you are on the roads, you are wondering what’s going on. Wherever you are, there’s just not that peace of mind that one expects to get in a country such as ours.
“This I believe can be traced to the fact that our country has been devoid of good governance over time and we’ve not had the kind of leadership that assist the people to have the peace of mind that we desire.”
He noted that the forthcoming general election is a make-or-break kind of election as it presents an opportunity to make amends as a nation.
“Nigerians have a duty to take seriously this coming election. We must not limit ourselves to issues concerning ethnicity or religion. We must engage ourselves with the issues that are pertinent to the survival of this nation.
“We can’t be doing the same thing, year in, year out, and expect a different outcome. We must break free from the mold that we’ve been fed over the years and do something different.”
Speaking further, he advised the electorate to listen very closely to what the politicians have to say. “Ensure that they are not just repeating the same old things that they use to say, going the same route that they are used to. Taking people for a ride and completely neglecting the people.
“We must show interest in the ongoing political activities. We must listen to what politicians have to say. We must listen to what they intend to do and how to go about it in order to ensure peace returns to the nation. Many of them are just repeating the old promises. We must listen to how they want to ensure insecurity is overturned and peace returns to Nigeria. If we have a leadership that gives everybody a sense of belonging wherever they are, we won’t be where we are.”
In her welcome address, LSM Lagos Metropolitan President, Lady Juliet Damian-Isuigwe said the theme of the convention: ‘Women Promoting peace amidst Ethno-Religious and Political Barriers’, was apt, considering the current state of the country.
She said 62 years after independence; Nigeria still grapples with numerous ethnoreligious challenges, and insecurity threats and is characterised as a deeply divided state, adding there is a need to identify the implications of these crises as well as proffer overarching solutions to restore peace and promote nation-building