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Nigerians react to the issues being raised by politicians in their campaigns ahead of crucial elections.. - 2003-04-02


Nigerians have been carefully following the campaign issues being raised by politicians and political parties. Many say they do not trust the politicians because they have deceived them in the past. Chris Amalu is a businessman, based in Enugu, Southeastern Nigeria. "I feel really disappointed because most of the political parties do not have manifestoes. And that will not allow anybody to size them very well. But I guess, its the standard Nigeria has found itself. Some of the politicians are charlatans - they don't know anything about governance but they want to be there. So that's the issue". Also, a resident of Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta, Pat Ezeigwe, agrees with Mr. Amalu and says politicians have not changed. "Well as an electorate, I really believe that it is still the same old story. The politicians come with their sugar coated tongues, they say they will do this, they will do that at the end of the day its always the same story. They end up disappointing so many of us. It has happened before and its actually happening now". Mr. Ezeigwe says politicians are interested only in what they will get when elected.

Meanwhile, a member of the United Nigeria People's Party (UNPP) Franklin Iguh - says the people should blame politicians for not keeping to their promises. He says he would not disappoint voters if elected to the state legislature. "Coming to my own campaign, I have been carrying on strongly. Like you already said, I am vying for a seat in the house of assembly, Anambra State House of Assembly representing Njikoka two constituency. I am a community man and I have lived with these people for so long a time, I have suffered with them, I have gone through thick and thin with them. I have helped them to the best of my ability in times past, but today I have presented myself and I have told them that I am going to make sure that all those things that have been happening to them will no longer happen." One observer, university teacher Austin Nnonyelu, says Nigerians are now more enlightened about politics. Mr. Nnonyelu who is a senior lecturer in the department of sociology at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, in Awka says people are eager to know what's being offered by politicians. "I must tell you that the current democratic dispensation, apparently appears to be different. The level of enlightenment, political education is now much more these days than what it used to be. A lot of people are interested in what politicians are offering. You know they are looking at the ability of the political parties to answer, to present answers to their needs." Mr. Nnonyelu says the people want politicians to provide housing, electricity, good roads, hospitals and quality education.

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