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2023 Election Headline News Nigeria Politics Special Report

Power of the voter’s card towards good governance

The promulgation of the 2022 Electoral Act in Nigeria on February 25th 2022 widely opened the political arena for high profile political activities that chronicled the National conventions of all political parties.

The first litmus test of the Electoral Act was in the successful conduct of the Ekiti Governorship Elections where the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate Mr. Biodun Oyebanji beat 15 other contestants including a former one term Governor of the State, Mr. Segun Oni to occupy the coveted seat.

It is therefore imperative to point out that, the power of the electorate in any election is the Permanent Voters Card (PVC). This is because the Voters Card is the strongest instrument of galvanizing leadership in any democracy.

Today, the largest and most successful democracy is in the United States of America in which, the annals of history have recorded George Washington as the first elected President following with the likes of John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, J.F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln who in particular, contested for the presidency many times to emerge victorious.

Others include Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, Donald Trump and now Joe Biden, the forty sixth president of United States. In all of these elections, the power of the vote has been the dynamic game changer in leadership. Most significantly, the case of Barrack Obama became the watershed because it broke the exclusive reign of white dominance. In Nigeria, for instance, President Muhammadu Buhari consistently contested three elections before the power of voters favored him in 2015 to defeat the sitting President. There is also a case in Nasarawa State where Senator Tanko Al-Makura removed a sitting Governor in 2007 Governorship election. Indeed, the sanctity of the ballot paper lies in the Voters Card by which every eligible Nigerians of eighteen years and above are qualified to vote.

It is heartwarming that the Independent National Electoral Commission in recognition of the electoral value of the Permanent Voter Card, submitted to the recommendations of the National Assembly to extend the voter registration nationwide.

Therefore, every Nigerian citizen must realize that, the time has come for a paradigm shift in the leadership narrative and the burden is on the Voters Card. It is imperative for the electorate to put all candidates in the forthcoming general elections on a weighing scale to determine those with capacity, sagacity, vision and integrity to deliver.

The PVC is not just a strong factor in establishing a political culture but very crucial in deepening democracy in the country. The time to toy with or sell one’s voter card should be over. The electorate should see political offices as a serious institution that cannot be gambled with along ethno-religious lines, rather, they should conscientiously make their votes to count by voting in competent, effective and visionary leaders. All political parties are also admonished to present to Nigerians a balanced, fair and dynamic presidential ticket based on the principles of Equity and justice to engender true federalism rather than deeping ethno-religious divide in the country. 500

Writing by Desmond Gondu-Aluor, editing by Daniel Adejo