After the struggle of getting our Permanent voters cards (PVC) many of us will still fail to exercise our rights as voters in the upcoming 2019 presidential elections. This happens every election year, a lot of people register for voter’s card and when the time for the actual voting comes they are nowhere to be found. After the elections we come out to talk about how it is so unfair that party won, this and that meanwhile the fault lies entirely 100% on us.
Voting is very essential for the country’s growth towards more positive and productive years to come both socially and economically and it all starts with voting. Why should we vote?
Here are 5 concrete reasons:
1. It is your right : you are Nigerian and every Nigerian no matter how little has a say about how the country should be governed. The only difference is only a select few the adults (above 18) are bestowed with the right of suffrage (voting). Never feel like the right to choose your government has been taken from you, we are a democratic nation and everyone with the right to choose should not be afraid to express that right by voting.
Do not say it isn’t my country because it is your country and if you express the right to vote for what you feel is right then I believe you don’t have any right whatsoever to go on twitter to degrade your country because when you had the opportunity you did nothing about it.
2. It brings about cooperation, oneness and patriotism of citizens: it is bad enough that our country is divided in different sections by tribe, beliefs, geographical areas, we are also divided when it comes to patriotism and proud citizenship. The act of voting is a patriotic one it says I love Nigeria, I want Nigeria to change and I will stand for that change to occur. Many of us want to be patriotic but we haven’t found others to support us in this pursuit, Our patriotism begins and end on social media platforms. While social media helps to raise awareness, action matters a whole lot and the community of online followers you are seeking support from may desert you, because it seems you have been looking for support in the wrong places.
When you go out to the polling centers on election day, there will be many people there just like you looking to vote for Nigeria because they love their country irrespective of tribe and language differences. You will find kinship in these individuals because they have same goals as you.
You can also join social outreaches and projects to spread the word of the importance of voting during this coming elections. Many people out there do not know this importance.
3. It brings societal change : Any which way you may want to see it, voting brings about change in the society. The “They will rig the elections” mindset is absolutely dangerous to societal change. How would Nigeria change if you don’t change your attitude towards voting?
When likeminded people with a particular goal get together to achieve that goal, change occurs. No matter how little that change is, it occurs and that is the important thing. Be a part of that community of change seekers, the voting community, and the ones that are ready to #VoteNaija. Be a part of the community of change makers, Do not be left behind, Come out and vote when its time.
4. You will regret not voting : during a recent crisis in our country, we were asked to pray for Nigeria and many people got so mad with anger because they wanted to see actions and not mere proclamations. This goes to show the truth in the saying from the Bible “prayers without work is nothing”. If you feel like you will pray or support from the comfort of your bed but not come out to vote because it is too stressful or inconvenient then be rest assured that you will regret this decision sooner rather than later.
Regret will come in two forms, you will either regret not going out to vote if someone you didn’t want, attain office or you will regret not being a part of the revolutionary change that is about to occur in our nation. We are positively hoping and praying for a better Nigeria whilst working by campaigning to our fellow citizens to go out and vote.
5. It starts with you and me : it certainly starts with you and me, we have the right and the ability to use that right for change is solely our responsibility. Remember that your actions or inactions don’t only affect you, it affects me, it affects my family, it affects your friends and guess what it affects the younger generation and the generation unborn.
We have our younger ones looking at us what message do we pass to them? Will it be a message of nonchalance and useless complaints and rants on and off social media? Or will it be a message of patriotism even in the face of challenges, oneness even in division?
The ball rather the ballot is your hand, decide to #VoteNaija for a better more united Nigeria today.
By Dee Awata