- Gbemisola Adeoti, a professor of literature in English, has said the political class, particularly the presidential candidates, must have the will to abide by the rules of the election
- The University don also posited that once there is a will, there will always be a way, while urging the security agencies also to have the will to suppress the growing insecurity in the country
- Adeoti, who has built a career in humanity, said if elections can take place in states like Borno and Yobe in 2015 and 2019, then the security operatives
Professor Gbemisola Adeoti, a professor of literature in English from the department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun state, spoke with Legit.ng on the necessity for presidential candidates to have manifestos and why they should all abide by the rule of the game.
While noting that a candidate or his party needs to have a manifesto that the electorate can hold them down to, he noted that what matters most is what the candidate achieves after being voted in.
For me, a candidate for me, a candidate having hundreds of pages of a manifesto, is not enough for me. It is what actually gets done when the party or the candidate gets to power.
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We have been having manifestos since the Second Republic, Third Republic, even since 1999 when PDP took over. Free education, good housing, better electricity, they have been making promises, they have been presenting manifesto. What has come out of those manifestos?
Is a manifesto not important in the 2023 election?
The university don was indifferent to the importance of a manifesto because Nigerians have been getting the same promises from politicians but posited that a serious candidate should have one.
I'm not saying it's not important. I'm not saying it's important. What I'm saying is each candidate will have something at the end of the day to promise the electorates, whether that will be individual or that of the party. So, if they are still fine-tuning it, I think it should still be allowed, perhaps till the end of the month. So if by a month or so to the election, a candidate has not come up with anything tangible, neither his party has any manifesto. Then, you can blame them. For me, I'm ready to give some allowance before everything is fine-tuned because, in Nigeria, there are so many factors that will ambush you that you don't even expect. So, let's give them the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the day, a serious candidate must have a manifesto.
The chances of the 2023 elections being free, fair and credible in the face of insecurity
The professor maintained that the will must be there from the political class to security agencies and the government itself.
The election will take place, but there are warning signs that we need to hit. And part of the early signs is the issue that you have talked about, that is the issue of insecurity.
For me, when there is a will, there will always be a way. Even the insecurities that we're talking about, once the will is there for the government agencies that are charged with the responsibility, insecurity will be put under control. After all, they’re well endowed to combat those elements of insecurity, whether you are talking of the Fulani herdsmen or the bandits or kidnappers who are spread across the country. Any act of criminality. The state is empowered with and is well endowed to put an end to them.
So, I think that if the government is sincere about it, those threats of insecurity will be put under control, and elections will take place. After all, even when Boko Haram was having its field day, people in Borno, Yobe still voted. They voted in 2019; they voted in 2015. So what was the mechanism put in place to ensure that? That's the question.
If the state is able to deploy security, then there wouldn't be insecurity. It is a simple thing. Once there is security, then there can’t be insecurity. So in that regard, one is optimistic that there will be an election.
But the other thing, the other threat is the readiness of the political class to play by the rules and ensure free, credible elections. So that people will not bank on manipulation.
Are politicians abiding by the rules of the 2023 elections?
Adeoti revealed a possible threat to the election, citing a viral video where a politician was having a townhall meeting outside Nigerians and some of the participants vowed to give everything it takes to win the election
They have been accusing themselves already. You see, party a saying that party is already working to rig. There is a viral video of a particular candidate, where somebody is assuring him that they will give it all it takes to win and somebody saying it is not winning but rigging. So insinuations flying here and there
The video is in the public domain, it is a viral video.
It was a town hall meeting outside Nigeria that a candidate was having. One of the participants, what was that saying that they would give the election everything it takes for them to win. If they remain at the level of installations, and they are not real and it is one man, one vote. I'm sure we have something to celebrate at the end of the day.
Emotional moment as Buhari’s chief of defence staff visits alma mater, commissions powerful project
Legit.ng earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari's chief of defence, General Lucky Irabor, has visited his alma mater to commission the students union building of Obafemi Awolowo University.
The popular Ken Saro Wiwa students' union was said to have been sponsored for renovation by the army general, who commissioned the building.
Some of the moments of the commissioning were captured in pictures shared by the students union on its Instagram page.