If you have a voter’s card, come out and vote. Vote. If you believe in elections, vote. If you don’t believe in elections – maybe because you think or believe they are rigged all the time – still vote. Why? Well, whether you vote or not, the election will still hold and a winner will emerge. And whatever decision the winner takes as governor will affect you, one way or the other.
Before you is a choice, between advancement and regression. Think. Vote right and monitor the elections yourselves. You are going to the polls, not to war. Maintain amity – keep the peace – even when you disagree with someone. Resist the lure of cash, rice, akara, oil, and whatever gratification you may be offered in exchange for your votes.
Such inducements are what they are: instruments of your bondage. You should be alarmed and repulsed at the very mention of a bribe or inducement. Any candidate that chooses to bribe you, whether directly or via agents, is unworthy of your votes. Repudiate his gifts and do not vote for him.
Do not vote on the basis of political parties. Do not. Vote for the one you KNOW – I say KNOW, not think – is honest, honourable, reliable, truly compassionate and competent. Amiability and generosity do not translate to competence and honesty. Do not fall for theatrics. Rather, meditate on Mark Twain’s words, “There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practised in the tricks and delusions of oratory.”
And, vote right. Peace!
To INEC officials: I can only quote Shakespeare: “The honour of a man is in his name, and no legacy is richer than honesty.” Do the right thing. Avoid fiduciary slips, however virulent the pressure on you. Let history remember you as men and women of transparent rectitude and not as a gaggle of venal knaves. Your choice, really.