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Political Campaign: The Dos and Don'ts

Ahead of the 2023 imminent elections, The Independent National Electoral commission, INEC has set 28th September, 2022 as the date of the kick-off of campaign for Presidential and National Assembly elections, while that of Governorship and State assembly is on 12th October, 2022.  


It is almost that time of the tenure, we are few days officially to that time of the year,  the period of electioneering, where everything seems different, or at least all efforts are made to make it appear so. This is the most crucial moment for politicians. It is at this hour that electorate are given a semblance of what should in the first place be the order of the day. This is the people's period. 


You may be confused about one thing or two, especially where I said the dos and the don'ts of political campaign. Some people may not have understood it. This is highly likely. But, of course, there are limits, and there is redline that shouldn't be crossed. There are things that politicians shouldn't do in the name of electioneering. 


Now, that you have known that there are things politicians should not do in order to sell their candidature to the electorate. You will definitely like to know what those things are. Relax. In the course of this piece, I will attempt to treat it. As Nigerians, we are full aware of what an average political campaign season looks like. It goes with so many things that some of us might have thought it to be a norm everywhere. But it isn't. Once again, what are they? Political thuggery, mudslinging, killings, and hate speech, etc.


While electioneering, isn't a tea party. It doesn't have to be as venomous as it is in this part of the world. For us to reduce the toxic messages it takes all of us: from our places of worship, markets, schools, offices, parks, halls, farms, etc. This is everyone's business. We must be involved. We have to work collectively to help our dear states and the nation as a whole.  We can only build this country under this dispensation by encouraging democratic conventions and not unacceptable practices just to win or rather rig an election. 


Rig an election? I think this horrible phenomenon continues to rear its ugly head because many of our institutions are so weak, especially the critical ones that can put a stop to it. In so many instances they abet it, this has led to so many terrible results over the years. 


During electoral campaign, you will be increasingly sought-after to hatch out different plans. This is the time when there will be multitude recruitment. No, not in the civil service. But in the thriving political industries, which need the strength and pep of youth to propel it. It is saddening to note that a large number of youth will be required not in the dignified and visionary side but at the abhorable, disdainable, and thuggish position, where their youthful energy will be wrongly channelled to the despicable social oddity of thuggery, which has led to the horrible end of countless number of youth over the years. 


It is descernible that politics, is much maligned, detested owing to the celebration of thuggery, cultism, immorality, etc, in so many quarters all these have discouraged many  Nigerians from joining politics or even exercising their franchise without necessarily being card carrying members of any party. This has over the years aided in robbing Nigeria of some of its best brains in politics, a large swathe of its patriotic citizens, and a considerable number of Nigerians, who believe in this country. My compatriots we must change the narrative. We have to stand up and fight against any negative energy that pervades the polity: for the sake of our country. 


Am I advocating against joining politics? Definitely, no. But join politics as a descent, respectable, and patriotic participator no matter how little your position is. In this way, your wit and vigour will be put into effect. Draw a line once your only place is a thug or any role that diminishes you or any other person. 


 Value yourself and do only what is legal and aids your personal growth and collective development of the society. Do not allow yourself to be used as a willing tool to destroy your future for meal ticket. Be wise. You are as good as anyone else when you work hard sufficiently. 


The campaign season has been known to be a tense moment all over the world. This is not peculiar to Taraba or even Nigeria. However, in saner climes political campaigns are mostly anxious for the right reasons. With each candidate coming up with competing ideas, plans, which form the fulcrum of their manifesto. It is anticipated that heated discussion will be a common feature. But in most instances the issues take centre stage. Therefore, there will be no need for recruiting an array of youth to be engaged in thuggery in order to win elections. 


Over the years we have seen how the tone of the candidates' political campaigns have played a major role in the level of violence witnessed before or after elections. Therefore, it is important that we are deliberate in deciding our fate by categorically saying no to election violence whether as candidates or electorate.  


Once we suffocate the polity from getting the stimulus of violence, from the youth that has literally kept it going. We are certain of sanitizing the system. As more people will be interested in politics, this means much more good and patriotic Nigerians will line up. It is a win-win situation for Nigeria. This will give us better opportunity to choose good leaders to build the Nigeria of our dreams. 



Abdulrazak Iliyasu Sansani Wrote from Turaki B, Jalingo, Taraba State. 

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