The Choice Is Yours

I AM Omoni Oboli and I represent Naija! What a time to be alive in our country’s political history! The education and reeducation of a nation which hitherto had been ignorant of their past and the foundations that our nation was built on. Many people have suddenly become experts in politics and many other fields that they feel helps their argument for or against the candidates or parties of their choice. What I would like to remind us is to take out time to go and secure your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) now before the new deadline of the end of January elapses. What a shame to be excluded from voting because us you spent more time debating for or against your preferred candidate or party and forget to arm yourself with the needed arsenal to seal your decision at the Valentine’s Day polls. Let’s be wise and prudent! 

   It’s been heart-wrenching to see how this election has served more to divide us as a nation. The rain of abuses and animosity towards erstwhile friends, colleagues and family has inundated our social media and gatherings to the point that death threats and excommunication threats is now the order of the day. The Christians have taken to giving out prophecies and doomsday curses on fellow Christians and non-Christians on opposing sides in a bid (in their minds) to win them over to their side! Amazing! They have begun to believe that the president or the general is the answer, or the lack thereof, to all of the woes that befall our nation and not God or our sinful nature respectively. When did we ever see a system become infallible that had the handwriting of man written all over it? Our northern brothers are experiencing their fair share of the same doses of separation as we are in the south. 

   Nigeria! It’s time to wake up and see that the political issues are not a reflection of the candidates or the parties but an exposure of who we are and what our core value are. Our leaders are a product of our society. An Obama will not function the same in our environment, so let’s refrain from comparing ourselves with others whose systems are not a true mirror of who we are. When we can build the right institutions and infrastructure in ours, we will see an emergence of a society that will be best suited for us as a people. No two societies are the same, but that’s not to say that we cannot or rather should not strive to emulate some of the great traits of these societies we perceive as successful. We should study what, how and why their societies function and adapt them to suit our best and wholesome societal values. 

    The anger and angst we feel in our society should be toned down and not directed towards our downfall, but let it drive us to fight for a more brotherly (and sisterly) relationship amongst ourselves. Our hate for each other has not built a better society in the past, so why are we towing that line. It’s okay to choose a candidate or party understanding the reasons for our choices whether they be reasonable or not. It’s okay to make choices based on trivial preferences, as long as those preferences are in line with our collective understanding and foundation of our constitution and constitutional rights. To borrow from the Emir Sanusi Lamido’s words, no one has the monopoly on wisdom, unless, as I believe, based on scripture, the wisdom which is from the word of God.

    We have been through a lot as a people and will still go through a lot till we get to our promised land, but let’s not kill each other because we need each other to build the nation we desire to live in when we get there. My political preferences, just as many people’s football team preferences are purely our own, and we should all respect that whether they are the best candidate or team. 

   We deserve to have our votes count whether we win or lose. The choices may be good or bad, but the right to make them is one of the fundamentals of a democratic process that ultimately serves the best interest of the people. 

  May God help us to elect the president that God knows is best for us and not what we deserve, because as a people with the values that I have seen, we don’t deserve better. That’s why we need the grace of God to supersede our fallible preferences. 

    Till next week, keep smiling! 

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