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The essential Nigerian electorate’s New Year resolutions

It’s the first week of 2023, and as usual there is a flurry of new year resolutions. However, since the election season is upon us…

It’s the first week of 2023, and as usual there is a flurry of new year resolutions. However, since the election season is upon us in Nigeria, I decided to write a different type of resolution. In today’s political climate, it is important to be vigilant and protect yourself from being taken advantage of by the politicians who may be more interested in their own agendas than in serving the needs of their constituents. Here is the essential Nigerian electorate’s new year resolutions to help you avoid being scammed by politicians: 

1. Research the candidate and their track record: This is overstated, and you may argue that your candidates are popular and you probably know them throughout their political career. However, it’s always a good idea to do your personal due diligence before supporting a candidate. Look into their past actions and statements to get a sense of their values and priorities. Beyond that, look at what they have done in prior positions they have held and ask about their relationship with people too. This will help you determine whether or not they align with your own values and whether or not you can trust them. 

2. Don’t be swayed by emotional appeals: Politicians are skilled at using emotional appeals to try and win support. It is important to stay level-headed and consider the facts rather than letting your emotions dictate your vote. Nigerian politicians are masters of this game. Therefore, prepare yourself this year and beyond. 

3. Look for unbiased sources of information: In order to get a well-rounded view of the candidates and their positions, it is important to seek out information from a variety of sources, including those that are not affiliated with any particular candidate or political party. You must look beyond your information bubble to get a nuanced view and an objective picture. 

4. Be cautious of outrageous claims: If a candidate is making promises that seem too good to be true, they probably are. Be skeptical of claims that seem unrealistic or highly unlikely to be fulfilled. I personally evaluate candidates at both the federal and state levels based on who is telling me with clarity, the things that they will avoid as much as the ones they will do. Scrutinise claims and don’t fall for pipe-borne milk and honey promises. 

5. Be wary of politicians who make personal attacks: Politicians who resort to personal attacks or smear campaigns may be trying to distract from their own shortcomings or avoid answering difficult questions. Be on the lookout for this type of behaviour, as it may be a sign that the candidate is not acting in good faith.  

6. Check the facts: Politicians sometimes make statements that are not accurate or that take things out of context. It is important to fact-check their claims to ensure that you have an accurate understanding of their positions and policies. 

7. Watch for red flags: There are certain behaviours that may be indicative of a politician who is not acting in good faith. These can include making false or misleading statements, avoiding answering difficult questions, or engaging in unethical or illegal activities. If you notice any of these red flags, it’s important to take them seriously and consider whether or not the candidate is someone you can trust. 

8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If you have doubts about a candidate or their promises, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. A candidate who is willing to be open and transparent is more likely to be trustworthy. Accountability can only be attained when there is room for questions and conducive grounds for a conversation and confrontation.  

With these resolutions, you can help protect yourself from being scammed by politicians and make informed decisions at the ballot box in 2023 and beyond. It is important to remember that as a voter, you have a lot of power. By being an active and engaged citizen, you can hold politicians accountable and ensure that they are working in the best interests of the people they serve. This means doing your research, staying informed, and not being afraid to ask questions. It also means being willing to hold politicians accountable when they fail to follow through on their promises or act in a manner that is not in the best interests of their constituents. By staying vigilant and taking an active role in the political process, you can help protect yourself from being scammed by politicians and ensure that your voice is heard.  

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2023.