Nigeria is at the verge of a new political dispensation. Indeed, the times are proving to be interesting and particularly instructive. For one, never in the history of this nation have the citizens been so interested in the electoral process. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as the political candidates are under intense public scrutiny, both locally and internationally. Put simply, the world is watching us. Not just in the outcome of the coming elections, but in the way and manner we conduct ourselves.
The truth is, there are a number of speculations from people who hold sincere concerns on the outcome of the elections. Political pundits hint on the possibilities of rigging and violence giving our ever present fault lines. Optimists insist we will come out stronger on the other side. Regardless of our present political position, one thing is certain: Nigeria is our collective responsibility.
While the burden of our national direction falls on leadership, we as citizens hold an undeniable stake in the outcome of our country per time. And as a result, it is up to us to work together to ensure that the elections are conducted as peaceably and efficiently as is possible.
It is our duty to ensure that Nigeria remains governable and prosperous. This demands that we throw our full weight behind the electoral process, educating as many people as we can, insisting on civil discourse from all parties and above all, transparent elections that will be beyond reproach.
Here are a few considerations we should collectively ponder on:
Democracy is primarily driven by the collective will of the majority of the people. So your vote counts. It is not enough to keep your voter’s card solely for personal administrative purposes; you have a responsibility to vote for the candidate of your choice.
You may ask “What if I do not have a preferred candidate?” The truth is, although there will likely not be a perfect candidate, you can still make a sincere but informed choice from the available options. The exercise of your franchise is particularly important because, by your direct involvement, you frustrate any plans to rig the election.