Seun Onigbinde, co-founder of the civic-tech organisation, BudgIT over the weekend posed what he termed, “the 22 existential questions Nigeria can’t avoid” to ignore if it desires to achieve greatness. In a thread on his Twitter page, the social entrepreneur took his audience covering issues bordering on the economy, education, health, power, security, agriculture and entertainment sectors. He also talked about the country’s unity and the continued clamour for restructuring and corruption.
The questions which have received the attention of many is what can be termed a working manifesto for all presidential aspirants as we approach the 2019 general elections. To say the least, this is an unusual time for our nationhood and it is important that Nigerians begin to engage politicians, political parties and potential presidential aspirants on their plans for the country. In the 2015 presidential elections, Nigerians failed to engage the two leading presidential aspirants by asking critical questions about their plans, as the majority were carried away by sentiments and divided along religious and ethnic lines.
At the moment, the ugly trend has begun with many individuals including President Muhammadu Buhari declaring their intention to run for the 2019 elections but it seems there may be a replay of the events that played out in 2015. Asides Professor Kingsley Moghalu, who has a detailed plan, the other presidential aspirants are yet to speak to any of the issues but are merely clamouring for a power shift. Currently, the security architecture in the country has collapsed while the economy is in shambles.
Every serious Presidential aspirant must take his or her time to study these questions and provide appropriate and concrete answers to them before formulating his or her manifesto. These questions should form the basis of campaigns for the presidential elections because the country needs a new direction. The 22 existential questions by Seun Onigbinde is apt and timely.