Issues-based campaigns guarantee peaceful elections – Kingsley Wali

A good governance crusader and social justice promoter, Kingsley Wenenda Wali, has emphasized the need for political parties, their candidates and supporters to adopt issue-based campaigns, as the country prepares for the official commencement of electioneering activities for the 2023 general election from the 28th of September.

Wali is the Convener of the Unity House Foundation (UHF), an advocacy group that promotes civil conversations, progressive and development-based politics, election of credible candidates into public offices, and engages in leadership training, human capacity building, skill acquisition and entrepreneurial development for youths and women.

The UHF leader maintained that it is only through issue-based electioneering process that peaceful polls leading to the election of the right candidates for the various political offices can be guaranteed.

Noting that elections should not be seen as a do-or-die affair, he wondered “Why some politicians find it so convenient to believe that it’s either they are in power, or no one else. They engage in rhetorics that intimidate the fickle minded and recruit the gullible. In the end, the people are less informed about what the issues really are. They end up making wrong decisions.

“Well, we must all come to terms with the fact that if this is about public service, then we must return to talking about the issues that will bring hope and development. Every nation or community, must be told why tomorrow is going to be better. Creating a state of national despondency or despair, only helps to create a society of the desperate or desperadoes. No society ever grows when desperadoes are captains.”

“When certain politicians demand that we engage in issues based campaigns and national debates, we must take up the challenge, so we can give our community, state and nation a fighting chance. Let’s learn to bring out the best and not the beast in us. We must celebrate the beautiful and competent ones in our midst, and not promote the garrulous brigands who threaten our peace and civil coexistence. Let’s begin to say the right things about who we are and how we used to engage in civil debates.”

He pleaded that “We must start talking about issues such as free or qualitative education, housing and urban renewal, health insurance schemes and how to revamp our health facilities, decentralization of development, agricultural and industrial revolutions and how we want to achieve those, so as to create jobs and guarantee safe and secure community.

“We must start identifying aspirants/candidates and parties with certain expectations. We can’t build our tomorrow on the abilities of people who accessed party tickets because they have boys – another way of gratifying criminality. Or electing people because they are cultists, bunkerers, kidnappers or even known murderers. These are the competences they are coming with, and why their parties nominated them in the first place.

“We must promote quality service delivery by insisting on civil conversations. We must encourage a process where those who have something to offer, can feel it’s safe to bring themselves forward to serve the public. Let’s insist on issues based campaign. This will help us assess the candidates and be well informed about the choices we want to make.

“As a community, we must condemn violent rhetorics, libelous and slanderous comments, campaigns or statements that promote hate and fear. One way of guaranteeing peaceful elections is peaceful campaigns. WE CAN DO IT.”

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