Friday 1 April 2011

Nigeria: Arise O Compatriots, our time has come to speak

Our time has come

Tomorrow, the 2nd of April, 2011, Nigeria stands at the cusp of history, where the sound of the revolution would either bring walls down or snuff out our great expectation for a brighter future that takes Nigeria from its much trumpeted potential towards the realization of the promise.

The opportunity arrives once again for us to choose who will represent us in the legislature, the people who should make our voices heard and matter in the seat of government, serve as a moderating influence on the apparently untrammelled remit of the executive arms of government whilst promulgating laws and acts that would make the pursuit of happiness and welfare in Nigeria a more pleasurable thing.

That offers the broadest idea of what tomorrow’s elections mean to all of us at home and abroad because whilst those at home have the power to vote, those abroad are just as well affected by what we end up having as leadership, direction and governance – not one Nigerian anywhere on earth will be immune from the consequences of the exercise of voting rights on the next three voting Saturdays of April 2011.

We have the numbers that matter

One cannot ignore the fact that this election presents the biggest Nigerian electorate with an estimated 73 million Nigerian citizens eligible to vote, if we all who could exercise our votes do come out, there is every likelihood that we will get the government that we deserve.

The youth have been seriously engaged and employed some many contemporary modes of communication and interaction to enthuse, persuade and encourage participation in this wonder of democracy.

Democracy, they say is the government of the people, by the people and of the people; it is a function of numbers, a function of action and a result of decisions made at the ballot box – we not only need to vote, we must also ensure that vote is protected, counted, tallied and reflected fairly, honestly and credibly in the results that are finally announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

We hold the key to the future

The independence of INEC is enshrined in law but the reality of this independence can only be guaranteed by the participation of all Nigerians – we are presented with an opportunity that comes only once in 4 years and that is the force of revolution we have – it can be as potent as the revolutions we witnessed on the streets of Tunisia in January and Egypt in February.

Let everyone fully persuaded of their civic responsibility and convinced of the character, honesty, ability, competence and probity of their chosen candidate or party step forward and make their choice known.

Let us remember the first two lines of our national anthem and let it be meaningful in the fact that it says – Arise, O Compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey.

Arise for the change you want Nigeria to pursue, arise for the right kind of leadership that would serve Nigeria and Nigerians well, arise for making your representatives fully accountable for the trust reposed in them, arise for the truth of a government that is the fully expressed vote of the majority of Nigerians.

This is our time, this is our revolution, this is our Nigeria, and this is our future handed to us today.

God save our dear fatherland, God help our sovereign mother land, God bless Nigeria.

Things you need to know for the elections

#NigeriaDecides: INEC incident reporting addresses:

Follow @inecnigeria, @EiENigeria, @reclaimnaija on Twitter if you are voting tomorrow. You will get useful alerts and information.

If you are tweeting about the elections, please use the hashtag #NigeriaDecides.

Send SMS Reports to INEC on these numbers 0816-666-2222, 0812-000-6622, 0809-666-2221.

Use these HOTLINES for incident reporting: 0707-0273-6781-9 (9 lines.)

Nigeria: A Primer on INEC Elections in April 2011

Nigeria: INEC Election Guidelines - Critical Information

Reporting from your Polling Unit - ReVoDa | How it works

Submit a report as a monitor to ReclaimNaija – Click to Submit a Report Election Incident Reporting Site

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