“You’ve got to vote, vote, vote, vote. That’s it; that’s the way we move forward.”
— Michelle Obama, attorney, author, and former First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017
The constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria does grant you the right to vote, why opt not to exercise that right? If we are to put the notion of politics into perspective, it is right to state that those that abstain from voting even though they are eligible to vote can as a result keep their views and complains towards actions of politically elected individuals to themselves.
When a citizen of a nation decides not to cast his or her vote, it implies that the individual is letting or allowing things to play out in whatever way possible even when the same individual had an opportunity to change things otherwise.
On the other hand, refraining yourself from voting is mostly driven by being unhappy and upset with the status quo but change cannot be achieved if you are unable to express your disappointment(s) practically.
Thus, for change to happen in a political setup there is a need to influence it and unfortunately, you cannot do that by stepping back and deciding to allow things to fix themselves by not casting your vote.
Each vote counts and each vote can be a deciding vote of which an uncast vote can also be one.
Unfortunately, no one would want his or her self-withdrawal from voting to be the determining factor unless they really do not care about who runs government and they further intend on not complaining about government actions and decisions, and that is a highly unlikely act by any citizen.
There is no better way of holding politically elected public office bearers accountable than through a ballot paper.
Elections are so essential and even more essential because they present us (voters) with the opportunity to elect individuals (politicians) and political parties that will head various spheres of government and represent the entire nation locally and to the international community.
We as a country do not exist in isolation, we share the global environment with other countries and many watchdog organizations that may seem silent but they are closely monitoring and watching our actions and responses to everything we indulge ourselves in as a nation of which how we hold our elections is one.
Having all eligible voters participating in elections is a positive note for our country from other countries of the world and international organizations.
Nigerians will be heading to the poll in February 2023, whereby the Presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives, Governorship and House of Assembly members will be elected.
I thereby urge every Nigerian eligible to vote to participate in the upcoming elections because not only it is a constitutional obligation but also because elections are characterised with acts of inclusive government.
Voters only get the opportunity to express how they feel and what they want in terms of political representation through elections.
One thing that voters should always keep in mind and know is that you do not owe anyone a vote but you owe yourself a vote, a vote is a personal decision derived from a personal solution.
Personally, I highly recommend everyone to vote because everyone has an opinion.
The reason why elections exist is for every person to have a say in everything going on, but is it still a democracy when we have eligible voters abstaining from voting? An unacceptable funny and shocking fact within the Nigerian context is that a huge number of people that distance themselves from voting are the youth, the same people that claim to know what the leaders should do in order to achieve its desired goals.
Unapologetically, no one in a political setup will give you an opportunity to make a difference if you are unwilling to feature on the field of play.
As a nation, we can only make the electoral process stronger when we have a vast voting population casting their votes.
We all have to stay focus and participate in elections as it is our birth right to vote our desired candidate to take Nigeria to a greater heights.