Elections: Nigeria more divided than Civil War era – Sanusi

FORMER Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Muhammed Sanusi has expressed fears over the division caused by the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.

Speaking on Tuesday, April 4 at the Nigerian Leadership Colloquium in Lagos, on ‘A new Nigeria: Leadership imperatives for radical growth and transformation’, Sanusi said the country is at the brink of collapse.

The former CBN boss noted that Nigeria has never been this divided since the Civil War of 1967 to 1970.

Sanusi noted that the presidential election has dangerously divided Nigerians across ethnic and religious lines.

He further observed that the present situation in the country had put the integrity of public institutions in question.

“The people now have suspicions about policies, policing, judiciary and the election umpire,” he said.

Sanusi also expressed his disappointment at the challenges of nation building and the condition of Nigeria’s economy.

According to Sanusi, “In October 2022, speaking at the Kaduna Investment Forum, I told Nigerians that if anyone told them that dealing with Nigeria post-2023 would be easy, they should not vote for that person. I meant it.

“We have a country that has been divided dangerously along ethnic and religious lines.

“We have an economy that is in the doldrums, and unfortunately, we seem to be having a dearth of leadership.”



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    Sanusi noted that Nigeria needs to look critically at the process through which the political office holders are elected.

    “No process is perfect. We have seen so in the United Kingdom and the United States. At the very least, the people should know who they are voting for. I think we need to begin to look at the Electoral Act, 2022, much more earlier than elections. We need to have a system where one cannot just go to participate in party primaries without being exposed to public scrutiny. This is what happens everywhere. People need to know what they are voting for. In other climes, they are compelled by law to participate in public debates to discuss issues of policy.

    “This is the only country I know where we elect a President first before knowing if he knows what he is doing or whether he understands what the job is,” he added.

    He however, stressed the need for a more transparent system for chosing candidates for elective and appointive positions.

    Stories with punches holding the powerful accountable. His determination to speak out against corruption and influence the conversation in Nigeria, the surrounding region and the continent inspires him.

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