(By Ogundana Michael Rotimi)
“If we vote carelessly in 2015, the consequences might be so severe, such that the bags of rice that is being used by politicians to influence our votes would not be enough to ease our hunger when it all begins. And before we walk to the nearest border for refuge, the selfish and wicked politicians responsible for the chaos would have flown away in their privates jets“.
Year 2015 has been tagged the election year, not just because of the presidential election alone but because all other elections are at stake.
Come next year- 2015, Nigerians will go to the polls to choose their leaders for the next four years. Now that a formidable opposition party- All Progressive Congress (APC) has been put in place, we might be witnessing one of the most competitive elections for the presidency since Nigeria’s democracy in 1999.
The last time we had this opportunity was 2011, and the outcome of our decisions still affects us till now. All things being equal, the opportunity to choose our leaders comes once in four years, but the outcome of our decision always for a long time remains our companion even when the elections are over.
Election 2015 can be likened to a double-edged sword that comes with various opportunities and time-bombs.
On one edge is attached a set of golden opportunities that could change the story of the country positively if we vote for the right set of leaders. An opportunity to right our wrongs and live up to them. An opportunity to push out the bad leaders and replace them with men and women of integrity.
Additionally, it comes with an opportunity that raises our hopes and aspirations for a better country. An opportunity to secure a better future for the unborn generations and to place Nigeria among the league of great nations.
While on the other edge is are time-bombs that could explode if we vote carelessly for people with self interest. Time-bombs that could crush our hopes and aspirations completely if the right set of leaders are not voted for. Time-bombs that could increase the agonies of the masses if by chance, greed or carelessness they keep the corrupt, wicked and selfish people in power. Time-bombs that could separate us deeper and wider along religious, ethnic and political lines if our votes are influenced by sentiments.
Currently, Nigeria is at the brim, we have gone beyond the elastic limit; we are at the breaking point. There are two options at the breaking point; it`s either we ease the tension and get relieved or continue with the tension and face the ugly consequences. However, it is my wish that we choose the former and enjoy the relief.
Voting in 2015 shouldn’t be about self interest or about the interest of a few cabals that specialize in milking the country of its resources.
Also it shouldn’t be influenced by political affiliations, ethnic or regional similarities that may shield our judgments on the right choice of candidate. It must not be influenced by the deceptive gifts of politicians that they share once in four years in an attempt to steal the votes of the people. Rather it must be about the collective benefits of all and about the passion to see the country succeed.
Currently we`re in a fix but 2015 could be a turning point for the nation. The direction will choose to follow depends on us all. Either to turn to the direction that will better the country or to the direction that will cause more harm to us. But whatsoever our decision is, it is my desire that will choose the former.
If we vote carelessly in 2015, the consequences might be so severe, such that the bags of rice that is being used by politicians to influence our votes would not be enough to ease our hunger when it all begins. And before we walk to the nearest border for refuge, the selfish and wicked politicians responsible for the chaos would have flown away in their privates jets.
It is a good thing that the people know that election is underway, but it is much more important that they know that their votes determine their future and that of the future generations. It is also essential that they know that the political process does not end on Election Day. That after the elections, we all need to stay together and be involved in the process by paying attention to the aftermath and holding our leaders accountable for every decision they make.
The administrative control of the government remains everywhere. But you cannot have a government within the country and not have control over everything that’s happening in the country. People know something has gone terribly wrong with our government and it has gotten so far off track. However, 2015 should be an opportunity to fix it.
Election 2015 must be an election to change our nation positively and a time to get it rightly. We must vote and vote wisely having in mind that 2015 could be our last chance that 2019 might not come and even if it would come, it is still very much far way.
Therefore, before you cast your vote, weigh the options carefully, let go of sentiments and differences and thumb it for the better candidate.
In conclusion, I leave you with the words of Lincoln Steffens, I quote: “If we would vote in mass on the more promising ticket, or, if the two are equally bad, would throw out the party that is in, and wait till the next election and then throw out the other party that is in – then, I say, the commercial politician would feel a demand for good government and he would supply it”.
God Bless Nigeria
Ogundana Michael Rotimi
Follow him on Twitter @MickeySunny
“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.”