African Business

Set sentiments aside now

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As the race to Nigeria’s 2023 general elections intensifies, the CEO of Africa Economic Summit Group, Dr Brian Reuben, has urged Nigerian youth to shun ethnic and religious sentiments and vote people with competence into elective positions.

In a statement he said “The legitimate purpose of Government is to do for the people what they cannot otherwise do for themselves individually.”

According to the AESG boss, security, education, health care, Internet infrastructure, roads and freedom to pursue a meaningful life are basic rights which people everywhere are supposed to enjoy.

These are rights that power a productive life and translate to a productive society. When these are lacking, lacking hardships are inevitable.

He further said that the experience of Nigerians over the past seven years should be sufficient to guide the thinking of Nigerians on who to elect into positions in Government whether at the state or federal level.

“Inflation is at an all-time high. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria accelerated for a fifth straight month to 18.6% in June of 2022, increasing prices and lowering purchasing power.”

Tertiary institutions have been closed for over seven months, The Guardian reports that Nigeria loses N1.5 trillion per annum to overseas studies, but that’s just a tiny part of the cost of an ineffective and inefficient education system. All the businesses that serve the tertiary institutions are also shut down. Lectures are forced to stay unproductive all because of government irresponsibility.

According to available records, Nigeria spends between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion annually on medical tourism for cases that can easily be treated in Nigeria.

Nigeria has 4:10000 doctors as against 1:600 standard ratio. These are serious issues. Nigerian doctors are leaving the country in droves. Daily Trust reports that Nigeria lost over 9,000 doctors in 2 years. That’s alarming. These are issues those seeking elective positions should be talking about. Why are these things happening and what do they plan to do?

It now costs as much as 100,000 naira for an hour journey by air. Nigerian families are going without food, insecurity is worsening yet most of the politicians cannot even make a strong case of what they can do to change the narrative, he noted.

He therefore urged Nigerian youth to set tribal and ethic sentiments aside at this time and activate the End SARS energy once again and demonstrate once again that resilient spirit of the Giant of Africa.

‘Remember that the only condition for evil to continue is for good men to keep quiet. It is time to ask the all-important question of what’s more important, to have someone devoted to your faith or someone from your ethnic group in office or to have someone who has the vision, the competence, the boldness and the willingness to put Nigeria on the path of purpose and prosperity,’ he said.

Dr Brian further stated that Nigeria was not the idea of the Hausas or Igbos or Yorubas or any other tribe. The fathers of Nigeria, he said, came from different tribes but their song was one, their voice was one. They sought a nation bound in freedom, peace and unity. It is sad that this dream 62 years on is yet to be realised.

“2023 is another chance to activate that dream and make it a reality. Let not the dreams of our heroes’ past be not in vain. Let not those who fought in the Biafra war, who fought during the Isaac Adaka Boro led war and those who have died at the sambisa forest die in vain,” he pleaded.

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