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  • Freedom Pen

Abraham Lincoln’s most acceptable and widely used definition of Democracy states that ‘Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.’
One may be inquisitive about the above assertion as to what he was thinking and why this of all definitions. But as an Academia, I would like to justify this assertion as to out of the people, some set of influential personalities were nominated by the people, to meet their social and economic needs. But recently, Nigerians have begun to ask critical questions about their future such as; how can the country conduct free and fair election in 2019? How can we elect the right kind of leader especially now that we are stalked in between two unreliable parties and personalities? Should we vote for APC or PDP in the coming general election? How are we sure that the next four years journey won’t be full of maladies? What are the measures that can be taken to prevent corrupt candidates from recycling themselves into positions of leadership?
The question of choice in selecting a leader in Nigeria is often an academic exercise, due to the election rigging, violence, and intimidation of the general public, particularly by those in power, god-fatherism which is an archaic and corrupt practice, bribery, threats, murdering of oppositions and also by those with the means- the rich and influential.
However, there is no gainsaying that the Nigeria citizens are used against themselves to gain political prowess. And of course, it is disheartening to state that even the so called literates shout during campaigns with shackles in their hands. It is not uncommon for the youths to be used as political thugs when their futures are ruined with strikes, unemployment, inequality, poverty and nepotism, amongst others. Unknowingly, the illiterates clap their rights away for a bag of rice and wad of notes that doesn’t last for four years.
Shamelessly, the political naïve and illiterates are tripped by dividend of democracy- what should be a politician’s responsibility?
It is high time Nigerians reason to understand that democracy is meant to fight for their fundamental rights- that their Permanent Voter’s Card is not meant to praise the candidates but to decide what they aim for their future. It is high time they ponder their minds on the effectiveness, efficiencies, missions and visions of the ‘saviours’ of Nigeria.
If Nigeria is in trouble because of bad leadership, corruption, spate of religion and ethnic killings, disparity in the political sector and socio-economic degradation, then why do we exercise franchise? Why do we need PVC? Why do we commit violence in the name of self-oriented politicians? Why do we abscond with ballot papers? Why do we sing and dance during campaigns when we are supposed to stone the round trippers to death?
I do not expect reasonable answers to the above questions but a mindful heart craving for justice, standing on voting for his conscience without compromise, a heart strong enough to resist violence, to refuse to succumb to bad leadership for a bag of rice, a mind anticipating for a good Nigeria.
Don’t allow yourself to be used against your country!

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