The preceding year to any general election in Nigeria is always characterized by a lot of political activities.
It is also a period that is full of allegations and blame games along party lines based on ethnic and sometimes religious lines.
The period is precipitated by a lot of unsubstantiated claims and counterclaims by party members. It is also a period where politicians cement relationships and confidants.
The period too is also a money-making business for supporters. The general election of 2023 seems unique due to the clamour for the limited political offices by an overwhelming number of aspirants.
The certainty by those committed to clench party tickets seems unwavering where on daily basis news about the expression of interest and procurement of nomination forms has become trendy.
While all these aspirants have begun traversing the length and breadth, nooks and crannies of respective constituencies skimming to outwit one another, the confusion of who is the best bet among them was flattened on the shoulders of party delegates.
As the candidates to be leveled on the masses by political parties through which every medium deemed appropriate and adopted is being awaited, the Permanent Voter Card however grants the masses the status of being final arbiters in next year’s election.
Therefore, the discharge of such a significant and noble responsibility must be devoid of sentiments of any kind.
Nigerians who from past experiences should have a renewed quest of righting the wrongs by consolidating on democratic principles and tenets for the evolution of political leaders on the basis of credibility.
The discharge of such a costly franchise must be used appropriately by the masses in validating only candidates whose confidence with such a significant mandate is not in doubt.
Similarly, the masses must avert and shelve the use of parochial interest which outcome could be both detrimental and devastating to all, rather the searchlight should be beamed on candidates whose track records speak volumes of their antecedents and have endeared themselves to the people.
As a sovereign nation, Nigerians cannot afford to suffer from being architects of their bane, hence the masses must be diligent not to leave behind a trail of regret when the general elections have gone.
Candidates who finally emerge must be those who will humbly account for their actions and inactions to the concerns and plights of citizens.
In getting this right also, citizens of eligible voting age who are yet to access their PVCs must do so as a mark of patriotism in the political process.
The electorate in whose favour democracy should be improved upon must rise and be the vanguard of the polity.
Those seeking election too must note that Nigerians over these years have gotten wiser both in strength and capacity to take credible decisions about who should be saddled with political leadership.
Hence, while the polity is always needlessly being over-heated at such a period by those jostling for party tickets, campaigns should rather be issue-based and not the usual smear and calumny. Above all, politicians should reckon that the key actor at this point is the voter who in his or her hand holds the power tool, which is the Prepayment Voter’s Card, PVC.
Writing by Aminchi Joshua, a Public Affairs Analyst; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino