Hopelessness is a striking indicator of futility in deeds and precarious situations. A total despondency is wriggled when the light is almost evasive at the end of a tunnel. As crucial as it may appear to have a change of government, the level of desperation of office seekers shouldn’t produce apathy with voters. Taking the leap of sustaining the trust of electorates is diminishing in the act of failures. Bogus manifestos, doctored intentions and abbreviated thoughts are the protracted predicaments of the masses. Exchange of individuals of the same thoughts and ideas but inadvertently found in different parties for the sake of nomenclature, care should seriously be taken.
The emblems are just not the indicator of honesty. The individuals have their paths traced to the past where we feared most. They are just birds of a feather! The claims are just similar, making their rhetorics common to the ears of the listeners. The anxieties are breaking up the ice and the expectations are not just in consonance with their intentions. Just the old lines of campaigns and begging for votes. These innocent and harmless voters are oblivious of their intentions but have been following the instructions of the jingles and adverts of how much we depend so much on this transition for better leadership.
The break outs in various parties and creeping in of other aspirants may suggest that the interest to build a formidable and viable nation is their premium. Well, this may not be as possible as it seemingly appears in practice. The integrity of our past leaders have been tried and couldn’t yield any improvement as it may appear to us. The theme of these parties has been tinkered with selfishness. The tales of distaste and rumours of insatiate cravings are pills assumed for the cure of these ambitious candidates. A selective pattern of playing the blame game has eroded the institution of justice and equity.
The memorandum of understanding is not pointing to nationalism but rather flicking in the direction of individualism. Self-worth and aggrandisement have been placed above selflessness and service to humanity. If voting in the right person is our quest, we may have to rescind on some of our expectations as all arms of government have taken turns to loose tracks of the ancient pathways. Institutions have risen and fallen, created and destroyed to serve a singular purpose-authority. This sovereignty is designed to appeal to the insatiable nature of greed and inducement.
It is not so clear that the number of the population who are so much aware of the forthcoming election and its impact on our daily lives will seriously be considering voting. Apathy will come from various quarters; ranging from poverty to seclusion by status. Communities with less government impact may feel disconnected from development as governmental policies are not so obvious to them, hence no reason to vote. Some other citizens see elections as a venture of making money from mischief. Raising dust as they campaign, even when they know that the election won’t include them as they don’t possess the voter’s cards.
With so much increase in voters’ education about how to vote and choice of candidates without prejudice, the fruition is not tantamount to responses, not even in the pre-election polls. ANAP foundation polls show that the level of participants that have not decided on who to vote for, significantly outweighs the number of voters with clear decisions. What this means is that there are many factors surrounding this indecision which may not be as clear as the polls suggest. The frequent level of ignorance on who to vote is increasing based on so many parameters that are personal. Nation building is not a personal affair and should be considered during choice of candidates.
The strength of the nation is determined by the number of the politically inclined individuals who are willing and determined to change the narratives. Changing the course of a political system will be far from making a choice of sentiments which however is part of our decision-making. The bedrock of corruption starts with prejudice to candidates rather than expertise on performance and track records. We may not have the complete perspectives on how the candidates may be the right choice but the premises should be clear enough to convince the voters in how much their decision will impact the growth of the common people.
Creating the right atmosphere by the umpires of elections for voters to exercise their civic rights is a crucial aspect of making the populace see sincerity. Breaking down the electoral acts to the level of reasoning of the masses will also ease suspicion of foul play. A neutral Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is a repose of confidence in democracy. Distribution of permanent voter’s cards (PVC) is another sinister that can be managed to avoid disrepute. An even and fair sharing of these cards to registered voters at various levels of locations can help solve disenfranchisement.
A more silent approach to curbing the high-handedness of some unscrupulous elements in the political system is to educate the innocent ones with the truth. Nationhood should be a topic in many of our curriculum designs. Placing the country ahead of any sentiments may help far more than just hoping the end will come to a nation that had been since a century. The grassroots need a dependable and reliable form of expressing trust in a system that has degenerated to just seeking personal gains. Make the claims verifiable; peddling false or fake news won’t do the nation any good.
Agitations and unrest won’t promote healthy relationships among citizens, avoiding every form of incitement and aspersions would do well. Supporters of these parties should tread the line of caution: your inclinations shouldn’t be forced on others. No matter how convinced you are about your candidates, your presentation may be your strength for putting your candidates forward. Let the journey of democracy be progressive and the enlightenment broadened for fair and equitable representation in all arms of government with your votes and not with your blows; with your fingerprints and not with your fists thrown at one another.
Olusegun Fashakin, a seasoned educator, writes in via firstname.lastname@example.org