As Nigerians, we are at that point again, in the making of our political history, where we have to take our fate in our hands and decide how we want to be led into the future which unfortunately many have already written off as bleak.
It is time to begin the ever worrisome process of choosing those who would on our behalf, think, promulgate and execute laws that should take us to 'the promise land' or at least guide us in the path towards it.
Come April 2011, Nigerians aged 18 and above, would file out to vote-in another crop of political leaders. Many have concluded that it would be business as usual - stolen ballot boxes, mass thumb printing and poll-centre hijacking etc - however, I'll like to ask that we all do our best to ensure it isn’t.
The future we all talk about will someday be our present. When that day comes, we don’t want to be full of regrets.
We have blamed our fathers long enough forgetting our children will blame us even more if we fail. It is time to practice what we've preached, let's do our part and leave the rest. Be the face of the change you seek.
REGISTER: Come January 15th, the registers would be officially opened for eligible electorates, do make out time and register in the area where you intend to cast your votes. Observe the process with keen interest, check the slip and ensure your name is correctly spelt. Keep your slip for verification thereafter.
SELECT: The primary purpose of every election is to identify the people's choice of leader through their votes. There are quite a number of candidates veering for various positions, endeavour to identify them all. Gather as much information as you can on each of them, let your fact finding include, their past, records of achievements and misdemeanours and most importantly their manifesto. Do this before Election Day (April) and decide whom you will be casting your votes for.
Politics of rice, beans, recharge cards and tee shirts would only produce 'Ghana must go' hugging leaders. Choose wisely.
VOTE: The elections have been slated to hold in April. It is tempting to sit back at home and watch movies all day - please don't! Make your way back to the registration centre or designated polling points and CAST YOUR VOTE. It is important because if you don't, you'll be helping some undeserving candidate get into office. Remember, political thugs find it easier to carry out mass thumb printing on empty/unused ballot papers. Don’t give them the chance.
PROTECT: When you're done casting your vote. Monitor it, ensure it is counted, keep the records and compare with the ones INEC releases later.
Remember, your Smartphones are not only entertainment gizmos; they can help create the future we hope for as Nigerians. Monitor proceedings and share pictures, text messages, reports, videos and other forms of data on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc).
While you're at it, be careful, only the living can tell a story.
LONG LIVE NIGERIA,
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
For more information, visit:
INEC = Independent National Electoral Commission