The coast is now clear for Nigerians to go to the polls for another round of general elections in 2019. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the time-table for the exercise. Political gladiators have also begun to dust their shoes in preparation for the game they feel they know best. But the real issue before Nigerians now is how to vote only credible candidates.
The question on the lips of many is; will Nigerians vote for the right people as the only way out of the current political and socio-economic quagmire plaguing the country? Voting the right people into power in 2019 is the only way to survive this current wave of economic downturn. With the situation on ground, there is the need for us to look beyond political patronage in casting our votes come 2019 because failure to take the right decision will plunge the country into another sad story.
In its strict sense, politics relates to the art of governing. It is about the ways by which the affairs of a nation, the well-being and happiness of the citizenry are decided. It is about making decisions. Politics is the glue that holds democracy together and also the oil that lubricates the creaky machinery of bureaucracy to make it more responsive.
That is why in his farewell address to the United States of America, former President George Washington warned that political parties “are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the will or power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reigns of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion” .
So, the electorate must check the track records of candidates they wish to vote for because putting corrupt people into office this time would be too costly and disastrous for the country.
There has been a long argument on whether Christians should participate in politics or not. I say why not? Every citizen, irrespective of religious affiliation, has the right to participate in decision-making which politics symbolizes, as a sure way to bringing about the needed change we yearn for.
Many Nigerians have expressed concern over the moral drift in the country and how degenerating our society has become. They point to the tragic consequences of increased crime rates, horror of violence, loss of values and widespread corruption etc. Regrettably, when an opportunity arises for them to do something about the situation through participation in political processes, most people shy away.
I think the time has come for us to elect credible Nigerians who mean well for the country.
Politics is about public service and public service is the noblest thing citizens can do in a democracy. Sadly, however, politics is no longer valued as an honourable calling in Nigeria as many well-meaning citizens are not encouraged to participate; but we should know that it is our responsibility to put the right people in the right places.
We need godly men and women in positions of authority so that we have a peaceful, just and moral society. When the righteous rules, they say the people rejoice; so if the righteous people are not voted for, then, we leave the doors open for our nation to be governed by the wicked.
The nation at this crucial time needs credible people in politics and government to make Nigeria viable economically and otherwise. Getting things done the right way requires good leadership, with the support of the followership. Our leaders must work towards the accomplishment of a common goal knowing that leadership is a process of getting things done through the people. It means responsibility. Nigerian leaders and politicians should know that the people are looking up to them to get things done properly.
Everything revolves around leadership. The impact of leadership has been frequently cited in the Bible. For example, in the ancient Israel, when God’s people had a good King, all was well with the nation and there was development. But when they had a bad King, things went bad for everyone. That is why the Scripture teaches that without a vision, the people perish (Proverb 29: 18).
Nigerian leaders must, therefore, provide selfless service to the citizenry. They should know that making other people feel good makes them stronger. Governance demands that whatever decisions taken by those in power should be in the best interest of the majority.
Since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari –led Federal Government, the experience of Nigerians has been very agonizing as there has been no much improvement in the economy and general development.
As the 2019 general elections approach with high expectations, it is expected that the electorate look beyond the old practice of voting candidates based on party affiliation or tribal sentiments.