It is of no news that the Nigerian  presidential election is imminent,  coming up on 25th of February, 2023.

The citizens are bedeviled and endangered with different issues and calamities, yet they expect the best from the incoming president.

Different Issues in the country have put people into frustration, like scarcity of naira notes, hike in the price of fuel, insecurity, closing of borders and also hike in all prices of goods in the market.

Nigerians in their quest for a better country and a better environment to thrive are willing to have a society devoid of all these affecting the wellbeing of everyone.

While the presidential seat in the country is being jostled by different political parties in the country; All Progressives Congress, APC of Asiwaju Bola Hammed Tinubu, People’s Democratic Party, PDP of Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party, LP of Peter Obi and other minor parties, Nigerians are in high demand of better Nigeria, complaining of the deteriorating country.

In an interview with The Harbinger, Osun residents particularly Osogbo have expressed their concerns towards what can make the election free and fair, and also their main expectations from the incoming president 

While some complained of the hike in fuel as a major problem in the country, some have alleged that if the president allows for importation and exportation of goods, things will be easier for the populace.

What we Expect from the Incoming President, Residents

Speaking on how the country can be improved, an Osogbo based Engineer, Olaniyi Lukman  noted that the president should free people and let there be importation of food like rice, and others so it can lessen the price in the country, adding that the Youth should also be empowered.

He said, “He should provide work for the youth, he should take those thugs to a place where they will be oriented about farming, This will reduce the rate of thuggery and robbery. They should open the border, so we can import and export foods, and food will be enough in the country and we can buy at a cheaper price in the market.”

Giving his own views, a barber in Osogbo, Fagbemi Tayo said there should be enough money, adding that if the government pays the workers’ salary, they will be able to buy and the sellers will also make sales and have money.

Fagbemi added that the country’s refinery should be made to use so the hike in fuel will be a history.

“They should provide money, they should reduce the price of goods. They should make the refinery function in the country. They should lower the price of fuel. They should fulfill all their promises so everything will be in order, they should subsidize everything.”

Additionally, he noted that the farmers should be empowered so there can be money for merchandise, thus availability of enough food in the country.

Lamenting on the increment in the price of foods in the market, Femi Olayemi noted that the government should find a solution to the inflation ravaging the country.

“They should open the border so everything will be less expensive. We are facing a lot of problems and food is expensive. They should find lasting solutions to the inflation in the country,” he noted.

A trader who declined our request to include her name noted that the hike in the price of fuel is the major cause because everything is expensive in the country, urging the incoming president to organise a committee that will look at refineries in the country.

“I urge the incoming president to open the border so the price of foods will be lessened and also functionalize the refinery so there will be reduction in tbe fuel price”

Also, Mr. Nureni Jimoh, a middle-aged man affirmed that social amenities is the major thing affecting the country, stating that if tbe president can look into water cooperation, electricity and road construction, the country will be an acre of diamonds.

“They should do what the citizens need, social amenities like water, electricity and road construction.  They should provide empowerment for the youth, and also make sure the price of foods are lessened”

Moreover, an anonymous resident of Osogbo who noted that the increment in the price of food is the major problem in the country, added that the president should also look into the aspect of creating employment opportunities for people. 

“He should provide food and open the border, and there should be fixed prices for everything so that it will be easy. Cement is expensive, they should find something.”

While explaining her plight, Azeezah Aminah who explained that some of her graduate children have been at home unemployed, urged the president to create more companies than he will build school.

Aminah added that the president should make the price of food lessened and also pay salaries to the workers.

“They should employ workers and pay their salaries. It is out of those workers’ salary that we do eat, because they buy goods tl with their salaries and once their money is not paid, there won’t be sales. They should employ those graduates and also proliferate companies. They should also open the border and also do something to the hike in fuel prices.”

Speaking on her expectations from the incoming president, Aina Ojo noted that the president should make the price of foods come down and also ensure tight security in the country.

Can Election be Free and Fair?, Residents Suggest Measures

A resident, Mr Nureni Jimoh, noted that if the 

police officers can do their work effectively, there won’t be riots on the day of the election, and there will be proper monitoring of the ballot box.

“The police and other security agents should be deployed and they should make sure there’s a thorough observation of the ballot box so it won’t be stolen”

In his own opinion, Femi Olayemi, a trader who lives in Osogbo noted that if the police are fully prepared and everyone is aware about that, people’s minds will be at peace and they will be free to participate in the electoral process.

“The force should be available and be at alert, even if anyone wants to destroy peace or steal the ballot box, they will be able to stop them. 

“That one will encourage the citizen to come out and vote and will also scare the hooligans away.

In his own contribution, an engineer, Lukman who noted that the security personnel should be empowered and armed, added that the hooligans should be arrested before the day of election.

“They should let the security be tight, they should pack all the hooligans and keep them somewhere so everyone will have peace of mind”

However, an anonymous resident noted that the politicians should not entice the people with money so that there can be a peaceful election, because people will not be manipulated and they will decide who they want without being bribed.

“They should not entice people with money, so everyone will have one mind, and when everyone has casted his or her vote, they should go back home”.

Also, a resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity also said, though everything lies in God’s hand, we need to be cautious. 

“The voters need to be cautious, the government should also try and protect our lives”

While giving his own view, Fagbemi Tayo, a resident noted that there should be an orientation for the people, adding that the price of petroleum should be lessened.

“There should not be stealing of ballot boxes and it should be stress-free. They should orientate people, and urge them to come out in masses to vote. If the security is not tight, the people will not come out. If the security is tight, people will be encouraged to come out, and they should try and lessen the price of petrol, so transportation fees will be lessened for those in far places that want to come, if the petrol is expensive, there won’t be a turn-up. The people should be comfortable with the economy so people will come out. They should make the security tight so people can come out”.

Azeez Aminah also added that all the equipment needed should be made available and the tight security should be guaranteed. 

“What they can do is for the security to be tight so there won’t be intimidation from anybody, they should always make everything available. They should not delay it, or say they want to go back to pick some equipment”.

Boluwatife Adedokun is a passionate journalist, who writes to ameliorate societal ills. As a young journalist, she aims to have a society devoid of corruptions by righting the wrongs with the power of pen. Her enthusiasm towards speaking for the masses has engendered her publication in different national dailies and she wish to be more impactful through her stories.

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