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Our fears, hopes in new year

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[FILES] Woman dressed in Islam attire praying

As the fireworks rend the air heralding a New Year, many Nigerians are filled with both high hopes and fears for 2019, a defining year for the nation as citizens goes to the polls to elect new sets of leaders across the country next month.

A cross-section of Lagosians who spoke to The Guardian yesterday said they hope the New Year would usher in new opportunities for prosperity and that managers of the country would expertly navigate the numerous economic and political events that will shape the New Year.

Year in, year out, the needs of Nigerians practically remain the same – provision of basic amenities by their elected officials, infrastructural development across board, ensuring a favourable business environment and adequate security. 2019 is no different.

As a new page is turned on the calendar today, the clamour across board is for security of people and property, good governance, fair and violence-free elections, stable economy, vibrant health sector, viable education sector without incessant strike actions and basic amenities.

We look forward to good leadership
Richard Giwa-Osagie, Past District Governor, Rotary International

2018 was a terrible year with a lot of activities. It was a year that Nigerians were faced with harsh economy and things especially in the business sector were very slow.

Every sector of the economy was affected. We are only hoping that things would get better in 2019.

I am calling on politicians, as we are ready to go to the polls that they should not make it a do-or-die affair.

Politicians should eschew selfishness and put on the right attitude of selflessness expected of them. We are looking forward to good leadership in 2019.

I am not pessimistic, but I hope 2019 would be better than 2018
Monsignor John Aniagwu, Vicar, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja

Last year was a year of severe trial for Nigerians. There was untold hardship that pervaded the country, which also extended to the church. Members suffered depression and hunger while unemployment bit very hard.

Members were sick while some even died due to inadequate healthcare and prevalent insecurity in the country. I do not know who to blame as life has been very tough for a lot of Nigerians.

We are hopefully looking at year 2019 to restore all our losses and remove hardship.

We are looking forward to a free and fair election, hoping that Nigerians would vote in credible candidates. We are also hoping that those elected would sit up and avoid the mistakes that metamorphosed into problems plaguing the country today.

It is tough but I am trying as much as possible not to be pessimistic, that 2019 would be better than 2018.

I hope for the best despite starting the year on a bleak note
Augustine Ewetunde, retired banker

The new year will likely start on a bleak note because there is likely to be election crises, if ongoing development is anything to go by.

The party at the centre is determined to use its incumbency power to the fullest and we only pray the country does not go up in flames. We shouldn’t expect much change.

We will definitely be faced with challenges, like the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) proposed strike over new minimum wage that could worsen the biting economic situation in the country. But I see a progressive new year for myself despite all the odds.

New year is a fresh
opportunity to learn from our mistakes

Dr. Temitope Jegede, Management Consultant, Institute for Entrepreneurship & Development Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University

We thank God for 2018.

We made so many mistakes and we need to learn from those mistakes so that our economy would improve in 2019.

In the election, we should vote for those candidates that are entrepreneurial in nature and those politicians that would improve our business sector. We should not vote for those who don’t have business plans.

Good the year is starting with an opportunity to change our leaders
Edeh Monday, food vendor

I expect my business to go beyond its current state.

Although, things didn’t go well last year, I am just happy we are starting the year with a general election and hopefully, Nigerians would have an industrious president this year, the one that will work hard to alleviate this current hardship.

We need God’s guidance to make 2019 a good year
Rt. Rev. Olubunmi Akinlade, Bishop of Diocese of Ife, Anglican Communion

I wish Nigerians a happy new year. We are praying that God will guide us aright in 2019.

Last year was very challenging and things were difficult to the extent that many people lost hope. We are hoping that things would restore to normalcy in 2019 and Nigerians would smile again.

Concerning 2019 election, we are praying that God’s will would prevail as we also pray for peaceful election.

We are urging Nigerians too to pray that God will take the country from the present state of hopelessness to the next level.

2018 was bad news, 2019 should not be
Festus Peter Adekunle, Scientist

Last year was filled with bad news. As we celebrate a new year today, many people are dying of hunger and are not happy with the government.

We only pray that all the negative news that filled the ears of Nigerians in 2018 would go with last year.

I am optimistic in 2019
Bayo Adeosun, Graduate

I know 2019 will be good for me. I enjoin everyone to pray harder.

Although some institutions in Nigeria are getting it wrong and not making one hope for a better tomorrow, but we should not allow government affairs weigh us down from forging ahead. I believe Nigeria will be great.

Like Davido said: ‘We rise by lifting each other’. God bless my country, God bless Nigeria in 2019.


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