2023: Putting weight behind the candidate of your choice - By: . . | Dailytrust

2023: Putting weight behind the candidate of your choice

By Fashakin Olusegun

Electoral processes come with different apprehensions from all quarters of interest. From the party primaries to the preparatory inputs of the electoral umpires as well as the interest of the civil society. The long wait-for-change in the political system of our nation may not come to a conclusive end without proper electioneering. There are candidates whose pedigrees should speak of the events that unfold at the polling booths. Without violence or ballot snatching, voting for candidates of one’s choice shouldn’t be a bloodbath.

The arrangements are becoming oblivious with unprecedented views of discredits to candidates who have not been elected by their parties to be their flag bearers. The tension rises with ambitious persons who may lack direction but are driven by aim to get power by all means. Irrespective of who gets the ticket to participate in the next election, the activities around the process of primaries should permit fairness and acceptability. Taking serious knowledge of what the candidates portend will persuade the level of votes for his/her victory.

Throwing banters and verbal abuses are predicated on backgrounds of seriousness. If these go beyond words to participating in physical abuse, the entire aim of politics is defeated. Songs of ridicule and chants of colloquial lyrics are precedents of ancient political rallies. Though with some pockets of racketeering, but not without control and caution, the fun remains with the participants.  With signals of detest, the opposing groups return their displeasure in whatever form to get back at their opponents. However, your candidate should have a point to prove beyond available premises.

Adjustments to views of electoral umpires bring to fore the readiness of the indifferent political parties. It is just a tale of being a judge over your own case as many honourable members of the respective state houses of assembly take the situation more personally. Electoral bills suffer passage due to so many hidden reasons that become glaring for self-aggrandisement. It becomes a situation of few individuals ruling the majority as against the reversed. Opposing views are staggered enough to be nullified but not so in most cases. The ruling ideas come from just a heart of sentiments and not with the best interest of the populace.

The right to vote and be voted for is simply the reason for eligibility among candidates but mostly abused. When a prospective aspirant registers intentions to occupy an office in the political space, the journey to opening can of worms has just begun. You would wish you never showed interest; as missiles of past events of your escapades will be thrown at you for your followers to peruse. Sometimes, these demeaning reports get extreme as regards one’s state of health and family records and academic reputation will not be spared too.

The electorate is left with choices of the Red Sea ahead and the chariots behind. Various tongue-lashings and discredits are peddled to reduce the opposing candidate to a crumb. The voters are also confused on who should be appropriate for the office or the job as the situation becomes messy. The era of social media has hastened the level of disseminating information without barriers and censoring in some cases- the evidence for false information is not verified. Some malicious news is edited to soothe the intentions of propaganda.

All these outrageous and condemnable practices lead to apathy, that the voters no longer find interest in getting involved in elections. The cases of disenfranchisement rise to an unbearable state and worsen still. This discouragement will not only allow an avalanche of discrepancies but increase impunity with electoral crime. Registration of eligible and prospective voters will bring serious setbacks with an indecisive pattern of enlisting same. Transition year for government leadership should not be the focus but that the process of electing to be free of incredulous patterns.

Candidates vying for one office or the other are spotlights of the selection process. Among numerous interested persons to the vacant position, one would stand out to be chief of the choicest. It sometimes comes by hook or crook since interest rises with selfishness from both the participants and the position-seekers. Since Nigeria is multicultural with various religious inclinations laced with biased ethnicity, the situation won’t come with the simplicity of democracy. The issue of round pegs getting a square hole won’t be too difficult a problem.

Records are proof of truth or falsehood as they are unveiled in future for references. What your candidates have done in the past should speak for them without prejudice. Don’t be a blind follower that supports only for personal gains and forgets the consequences in the future for generations yet unborn. Previous jobs speak volume of what you are capable of doing in may be a similar capacity or something greater. The game is open for those who are fit to occupy and deliver, not for family reasons. There is prestige in service and not for self-adulation with propaganda.

If we create an atmosphere of friendship among prospects, the interest of the nation will be paramount. Political offices are available for those with integrity and selflessness. The frenzy emanates from unresolved grudges against individuals and not national interest. It is not always simple with mixing old ideas and modern technology to defend democracy. If they come begging for votes, don’t fall for their scheming; it is not always in the interest of the masses. Let your candidate be genuine with his agenda and not patronising you for his gains.

Olusegun can be reached via olusegunfashakin@gmail.com

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