Voting is a constitutional right granted to qualifying citizens who have reached the voting age. It is our right to take part in the government of our country, directly or through freely chosen representatives, and the votes shall be the basis of the authority of government at every level.
We need to build a nation directly or by people who proclaim a very fealty to the social needs and interest of our nation and worry about the system of government with political and economic democracy.
Nigerian democracy seems to be plagued by discontinuities, instabilities, inefficiencies and incompetencies. Democracy in Nigeria is too formless and unskillful to deal with the convolutions and intricacies of modern political style in the country. We must cry out over the loss of our democracy and the judicial system as well as the lives of our generation.
Seriously, we need to be prudent enough to ostracize or banish any person who disregards our societal needs, democratic values and the system of constitutionalism. Our political system has been characterized as uncaring, untrustworthy and out of touch with ordinary citizens. Our politicians are in a blatant breach of democracy and the rule of law. Our hope and certainty have been turned to dust in their hands. Democracy in Nigeria has become a ghost and a useless parody of itself.
Before casting our vote, of course, the person who deserves our votes shall, to the all extent, satisfy the following:
1. Character: in consideration of whether a person deserves our votes, his character needs to be taken into recognition. And these are the yardsticks for measuring the character:
i. Honesty and Truthfulness.
ii. Respect for the Rule of Law
iii. Justice and Fairness to all and sundry.
2. Competency: this is another key issue to be considered, and the following are the determinants:
i. His performance in previous administration/position.
ii. Education and ability to manage a complex and diverse society.
iii. Knowledge of management of human and natural resources.
3. Capacity: this has to do with mental/health capacity of a person, and for us to know level of capacity, we need to consider the following:
i. Good Health.
ii. Sound disposing mind.
iii. Physical fitness for the governance.
4. Policies: this is where we can look at policy/agenda a person promises to provide, and we need to look at the following:
i. Recognition of religious neutrality of the Nigerian people.
ii. Enforcement of Fundamental Rights of all Nigerians.
iii. Decentralization of government.
iv. Local control of the local economy.
The culture of Nigerian democracy, as problems of general concern, has become a cankerworm that has eaten too deep into the system of this country, and forced us to dismiss all hope to vigilantly guard the nation and the future of our generation.
N.U. Muhammad Tagarji