The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies(NILDS) has urged Nigerians to vote credible candidates during the 2023 general elections.
Director-General NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, made the call at the end of a three-day Capacity Building Workshop for Legislative Aides in the National Assembly held on Wednesday.
Sulaiman urged Nigerians to resist the temptation of voting candidates with questionable character.
He said,”the character of anyone seeking political position should be a vital ingredient of electioneering..
“We are vanguards in the area of ensuring that persons with good character emerge as leaders.
“For us to get it right in this country as a people, we must set aside the issue of primordial sentiments.
“We must set aside the issue of money in campaign and we must look at competence; we must look at character, we must look at ability of the various candidates.
“People’s perception should not be judged or based on your kiths or kins, it shouldn’t be based on primordial sentiments.”
Sulaiman also said that electing candidates should not be based on languages or religion, adding, “it should be based on whether the candidates identified or fielded by the party can do the job.
“Character is key, competence is key. And to a large extent, the fear of God is fundamental,” Sulaiman said.
He further said that with the challenges of insecurity, unemployment, underdevelopment, joblessness and a lot of other malaises facing this country, the electorate should vote candidates with capacity.
The D-G however urged politicians to ensure that campaigns were issue-based and violence-free.
Sulaiman said: “Campaigns ideally should be issued based. In advanced democracies that we are trying to copy from, their campaigns are issue-based, but in Nigeria, we are still far away from it.”
On the workshop, Sulaiman said that participants were trained on various areas including budgeting, information gathering, data gathering and oversight.
“By the time they go back to their principals, you will see the outcome of what we have done in terms of output,”he said.