When my father was my age, he was not just fully responsible for himself; but he was comfortable enough to take care of his own father, get a sophisticated apartment, and live life as comfortably as a young person in their twenties so desired. On the other hand, there’s me and millions of others currently in their twenties – many of whom can barely take care of themselves, how much more take responsibility for someone else. The economy of Nigeria must have been more favorable to my father’s generation. Or are we just unlucky? Aren’t things supposed to be getting better?
We should remember this salient fact when we walk into those polling booths on Saturday. We are no longer so little as to be indifferent about the elections, or turn a blind eye, or worse, ‘run off’ during elections. Young people need to claim what we want — a better Nigeria. We can’t do that by paying no mind to politics.
Politics is intense. It is sometimes exhausting, but it is definitely necessary. March 28, 2015 is fast approaching. It is the day Nigeria decides her fate for the next four years. In the past few months, we have seen candidates campaign—or smear each other’s campaigns. I thought about writing this piece in an effort to sway you towards a particular direction. However, it might be better to be as objective as possible. Personally, I don’t care much for political partisanship. Rather, I believe in personal principles, values, commitment, and ideology. I have tried to weigh the major candidates on these bases. I suggest you do the same, realistically.
Remember though that we need the experience and tactic of older people to run the country, we also need the originality, enthusiasm, and energy of the young people. Ultimately, the choice of who to vote for belongs to you and you, alone.
However, as with everything in life, weigh your options, and pick the better/best of those options. If you owned a trillion Naira company, or perhaps you invested trillions of Naira in an establishment, would you select a manager because both of you sit in the same pew in church on Sundays? Would you select a manger because you both bowed in the same direction in obeisance to Allah? It would definitely be less-than-smart to pick such a manager on the basis of trivial sentiments like your tribe. I urge you to appeal to your inner conscience; in the name of whomever you serve, to make the choice you believe is the absolute best for our nation. Look at past experiences, goals, plans…look at the people around each candidate because, eventually no one man can run the nation alone.
I am not ignorant enough to forget that there are some groups of people with vested interests, who would prefer for Nigeria to rot in misery. I am positive, however, that the majority would rather see Nigeria thrive. We can pray all we want, but God has given us the gift of freewill and choice. Ultimately, the power belongs to we the people.
And this goes for every level of the election—legislative representatives, state governors, and local government chairpersons—which is just as important as the presidential election itself. While we vote for our leaders on March 28, it is imperative that we also decide to be better followers—better Nigerians.
May the best person(s) win.

This article was first posted on Bellanaija.

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