Nigeria News

Nigerians Discuss 2019 Polls On Christmas Day

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I have taken time to visit some friends on Christmas Day to unwind after a year of hard job.

It was splendid meeting friends who left this country to seek greener pasture abroad. Their stories were mixed but better than what Nigerians are experiencing now.

They came home from the United Kingdom and United States for Christmas in Nigeria and would be leaving before the presidential election in February.

Their father’s land has become so unsecured to them that they cannot stay for a long time to mingle with their old friends.

And for the fact that the country will be going to the polls next year, these Nigerians in the diaspora are so sure that there will be violence in 2019.

At the two homes that I visited, our Nigerian friends who now live in the UK described the present government of Muhammadu Buhari as the best that had happened to Nigeria in terms of curbing corruption.

But according to them, the government has failed woefully in the area of security and that it would be suicidal for them to stay around during election.

They lamented the level of infrastructure deficit in Nigeria, which has made it difficult for investors to come to Nigeria.

This has been the major problem of successive governments. They fail to provide the enabling environment to lure foreign investors to the economy.

My friends berated Lagos megacity status, which lacks rail transportation system but heavily dependent on the roads to move persons and loads.

Lagos Red and Blue rail lines project that started during Governor Babatunde Fashola has been abandoned for sometime now. Nothing is going on the project now.

The present state government of Akinwunmi Ambode has improved on the build of jetties for water transportation, it is obvious that he cannot achieve much before next year when he will quit the seat.

Though the Lagos-Ibadan railway will start operation next year as said by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, there is no indication that the train will begin to transport containers from the Apapa Port, which is the major problem on Lagos road.

My friends spoke about high taxes abroad, which take much of their money but they rated the working condition over there as far better than Nigeria where workers were overworked but underpaid.

Throughout our discussion, the Ikeja Electricity Distribution refused to provide light, our friends depended on generator to power the house as noise and smoke pollutions consistently disturbed our good conversation.

Speaking about President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), these Nigerians in the diaspora had no preferred candidates between the two.

To them, none of the candidates has the intellectual capacity to change Nigeria’s political situation, which has been polarized by ethnicity and religious factors.

To them, both Buhari and Atiku are surrounded by cabals who are not ready to succumb to the will of ordinary people. Their campaign is mere aspirations that lack a strong policy statement to show how prepared they are for the top job.

Christmas season is cool with lots of drinks and sumptuous food. Lagos roads were free. How I wish everyday is Christmas Day when the weather is friendly and the food is surplus for the man to enjoy.

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