Obi, Tinubu or Atiku: Selecting a Candidate
Owing to the relative proximity of the election day, campaigning activities intensify to complement the fact that time is too scarcea resource to waste. The overall turn out and sudden interest of the youths in the political affairs of the nation is no brainer that people are fed up and they, more than ever before, demand a great step for the nation in the right direction. The need to acquire one’s PVC (Permanent Voters Card) prior to the electionis essentially instrumental to the progress and development of Nigeria because the power to change the current situation of Nigeria rests on the power vested on the citizens to elect a candidate that will best represent their interests. But a very important yet seldomly accosted question persists.
“Where do you stand?”
Better put, “Who do you stand to vote for?”
Before an attempt is made at answering these questions, it isessential that detailed attention is paid to the foregoing. The issue of tribal loyalty in terms of elections is no stranger to Nigeria. Nigerians are, more often than not, fond of siding the candidate who hails from their regions or specifically their tribe—though the democratic nature of the Political context of Nigeria affords the citizens freedom to vote into power, the candidate of their choice, it is essential that other qualities are evaluated and used as a standard to base the selection ofcandidates to vote for. Although the topic of tribalism has an age long history in Nigeria, there is a need for Nigerians, as citizensconscious of their rights, to apply rational evaluation and critical thinking in the decision-making process of selecting a candidate to vote for in the forthcoming elections.
That a presidential candidate originates or hails from one’sregion/tribe should not be a sole reason for voting such a candidate into power, as it does not automatically guarantee or qualify him to be the right presidential candidate. Which is whyit is of uttermost importance that a proper examination isintellectually conducted to access and evaluate the eligiblecandidates before a decision is made on the issue of selecting a candidate to vote for in an election, the reason being that whatever decision the citizens make on the candidate to be elected into office has the tendency of affecting the future of Nigeria either positively or adversely. An observation of the present state of affairs in the nation hints on the fact that Nigerians cannot afford to fold their arms and watch things spin wildly out of control.
These are, but not limited to, the factors Nigerians must take cognizance of in their selection of eligible candidates to vote:
What do the past records of the candidates reveal about them? What developmental progress have they effected in the officesthey were saddled with the responsibilities of holding? How well did they cater for the needs of the people they lead? What is their priority—the people’s well-being or their pockets? Very crucial.
The responsibility of selecting a candidate is crucial to the progress of Nigeria going forward which is why citizens must access the eligible candidates past records and impact before arriving at conclusions. Obi, Tinubu and Atiku all make fine candidates having proven themselves capable of contesting the position of President in the forthcoming elections, but as citizensof Nigeria, well enlightened on their rights as citizens, Nigeriansneed to ponder the questions above before deciding to select acandidate in anticipation of the forthcoming elections.
Chukwu Clinton Ugochukwu,
Department of English Language,
Lagos State University, Ojo,