A Nigerian professor of Political Science at Texas State University, United States, Sheriff Folarin, has stated that public latrines are cleaner and safer than the mouth of an average Nigerian politician.
This was as he noted that political campaigns in the country from 1979 – 2019 have been laced with lies and empty promises from corrupt politicians.
Sheriff made this known in a lecture titled ‘The Challenge Of Creative Leadership In An Era Of Scarcity: Nigeria And The Critical Times Ahead’, which he delivered at the first Peter Obi International Symposium/Lecture Series.
The series was organised by a support group for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, under the aegis of Nigerians Arise for Peter Obi organisation.
In a text of the lecture made available to The PUNCH on Friday, Sheriff decried the rate of rigging that has become prevalent in Nigeria elections.
Sheriff, also from the department of Political Science in Covenant University, said, “Political campaigns all these past years (1979, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019) have been underlined by lies. Pure lies and sugar coated promises.
“Public latrines are cleaner and safer than the mouth of an average Nigerian politician. The lies are even less told these days because campaign or not, some privileged politicians in some political parties are going to be declared winners.
“Rigging machines are put in place to deliver undeserved ballots, so much that the candidates with merits end up shortchanged and lose out in the game of thrones. The financial stakes are too high.”
He, however, noted that with the rate at which Nigerians were speaking in one voice ahead of the 2023 elections, corrupt politicians will be unable to rig the election.
“The rate at which the youth and adults, ethnicities and regions, Christians, Muslims and African Traditional Religion worshippers are speaking in one voice, it will be impossible to silence or rig the elections next year.
“The military could not do it in 1993. The corrupt political class should not be able to try rigging the elections in 2023. Will the votes count this time? Can the ruling party steal the votes?
“As things look, Nigerians will not fold their arms and watch as their votes are stolen,” Sheriff noted.
He, however, noted that Obi had the quality and competence to rule the nation, adding that his candidacy has given the South- East a shot at presidency.
Sheriff added, “I also argued that if the Igbo must produce the next president, they have to close their ranks and stop selling themselves out to the Northern oligarchy.
“Furthermore, they should not alienate the Southwest in this quest, and work closely with the entire Southern Nigeria, if they must beat the North to their game.
“Thankfully, they have a man who has the quality and competence now, a man who fits in squarely. This is their time and chance. They should be wise and take it.”