A Call to Honour: The Electorate’s Rights

(By Simon Abah)

How long are we going to wait while political figures lie, take what belongs to us and watch us die?  So many people are dying every day from diseases that can be prevented. A lot of Nigerians are begging on the streets for stipends that will enable them take care of bad health. People also beg for money in the print media so they can go for medical treatment. In the intervening time, those we elected with promises to tackle this social malady do nothing on assumption of office.

HOW long shall we remain lethargic and passive? Nigeria is in ruins because we have not made use of our authority to vote first-rate, reliable leaders into office. The consequence is that there is no middle class to any extent, only a wide gulf between haves and have-nots.

How long are we going to wait while political figures lie, take what belongs to us and watch us die?  So many people are dying every day from diseases that can be prevented. A lot of Nigerians are begging on the streets for stipends that will enable them take care of bad health. People also beg for money in the print media so they can go for medical treatment. In the intervening time, those we elected with promises to tackle this social malady do nothing on assumption of office.

   How long are we going to remain silent without trying to find justice and the fulfilment of our dreams? Citizens are suffering so much and the cost of everything is so high. The political classes have not made life easy for those in the rural areas leading to the influx of people to the city with inadequate infrastructure to take care of them.

   Private schools are so expensive in the cities and access to education is denied families who cannot afford outrageous fees. The social tribe of private school graduates will be the ones to rule Nigeria totally someday if we do not stem the tide quickly.

   Some public schools that should provide succour have decayed infrastructures, lack qualified tutors and are underfunded. Leaseholders are in ruins because of the abrasive manoeuvres by homeowners who impose outrageous rents without control.

   What happened to all the promises made to us? The promises of liberation from poverty and neediness? The promises of good healthcare, employment and quality life?

   Where are the people who we can trust? Who do we run to for justice when our homes are bombed, torched and people killed audaciously? Why is there no peace in our land? Has justice suddenly disappeared?

   All of a sudden, people are indispensable even when they engage in wrongdoings as public officials. To whom must we appeal when police officers turn their guns loose on citizens? How swift will the state respond to atrocious jungle-justice that navigates through our lands every day?

   Who are we going to hold responsible for bad governance and to provide us with solutions to the mounds of state and country challenges? Who will provide us with secure homes, first-rate education for our children and stable wages?

   The time to change Nigeria is now. It is our responsibility to vote the right people into office. Let us not be swayed by the deceit of office-seekers. Never again are we going to be so diffident as to allow politicians to deceive us with paltry amounts of money to buy our votes and mortgaging our children’s future. We will henceforth be counted to make a difference.

   Awake: Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo. Hear the voices of Nigerians begging for a better life. You all died in the struggle to make this country a better place to be. Your visions have been ruined by this generation who some have described as a ‘wasted’ generation.

   Listen to this call to honour my fellow voters. Hear the call from our founding fathers. They beckon us to be good citizens and to do the right thing this time. They have disregarded our erstwhile errors so long as we do not repeat them this time around. We must not betray them.

   Even in their burial chambers they hope for a better Nigeria because they died for this mission. They perished doing the right thing and still wish they were here to do the right thing. Why squander our opportunity?

   Do not waste your votes by voting for the wrong people and for the wrong reasons. Only little minds do that. The sagacious amongst you should help the weak to make the right choice for conscience sake.

   Let those we elect to office know that they have a moral duty to keep their promises. This country belongs to us all and they do not have more stakes in her affairs than we do.

   The sun has set on all voters to save the future of our children. Our integrity must be intact to achieve this goal so that our children and our country will not drown.

   We must all be patriotic and honourable for Nigeria.

• Simon Abah writes from Port Harcourt.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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