Tomorrow, Saturday 14th July 2018, we will go to the polls to elect (from the array of candidates seeking our votes) a Governor, who will govern us for the next four years. Before we file out to cast our vote, I feel it is important that I write us an open letter, which I believe will be an eye-opener and a subtle reminder of how important the decision we make tomorrow will affect our lives (and that of the generation unborn) beyond the four years the administration of the next Governor will lapse. Please, let us all take a moment and think about this election.
Since the candidates and their parties began their campaigns, hardly will a day pass by without the media reporting one political violence or the other. Some don’t even get the attention of the media, but we get to watch videos and see pictures on Facebook and other social media platforms. As a young Ekiti indigene who has lived most of his life in Ekiti, I am sad our state, which has been adjudged as one of the most peaceful states in the country is gradually becoming the headquarters of political violence in Nigeria. How did we lose the spirit of togetherness and peaceful coexistence, HOW?
Recently, our Governor, Dr Ayodele Fayose was reportedly harassed by the officers of Nigerian Police. Some of us condemned the incident, some were indifferent, while some were glad it happened. They claimed it was Karma paying him back for what he did to Dr Kayode Fayemi in 2014.
As much as I will not want to waste time to discuss that unfortunate incident, I want to call our attention to a point we seem to be missing. If you are one of those rejoicing because we don’t like the current occupant of the dignified office of the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, I hope you remember that as he is being harassed, the dignity of that office is also a victim of that harassment. Whatever happens to the occupant of that office would invariably affect us – whether we like it or not. Besides, it is wrong to celebrate impunity, even if it benefits us. Away from the violence, let’s talk development. Let us talk about the future of our dear state.
In my way of being a socially conscious citizen, I watched and listened to most (if not all) of the manifestos and promises. I must say that I was utterly disappointed by what I saw and heard. In my own opinion, the leading candidates are just interested in winning the elections, they did not show the readiness to start working towards making the state a self-dependent state.
When I sit behind a television set to watch the campaign of a political party, I would expect. Like they do in a sane democratic setting, that the candidate rolls out his plans for the citizenry and convince them that he knows exactly how to achieve those goals. Sadly, the speeches most candidates make at their campaign tours, even at the “mega rallies”, are beautifully composed hate speeches and boastful narration of how they, and their party will win the election. What happens after the election, they don’t say!
I admit, this election has brought forward an array of unique candidates and the campaigns have been entertaining. Some people even attend the rallies just to see their favourite candidate and supposed party leaders spew vile hate speech from their mouth against a candidate they don’t like, but as a people, we must understand that this election should be more than just a comedy show that we thoughtlessly watch, while cheering for the aspirant who makes the most despicable claims and can make us laugh the most. Our future and that of our state is at stake!
For a state that depends solely on federal allocation, we need leaders that can improve our internally generated revenue (IGR), improve healthcare and education, attract investments, revamp the industries and tourist attractions that have gone moribund, create employment opportunities (and not sack workers), pay salaries regularly, improve the infrastructural architecture of the state – the list is endless, our current needs as a state is more than what a clown, puppet, comedian, friend of the President without purpose can achieve.
The best time to start working towards these needs was twenty-two (22) years ago when the state was created, the second best time is NOW! Our future as a state would depend on the actions, plans and decisions that would be executed by the next Governor of Ekiti State. Why? Because there are indications that the population might explode, the unemployment rate might increase, some experts are even of the opinion that the economy might shrink further. If we will survive these scares, we should, as a matter of fact, we must elect a capable leader!
We need to look beyond the popularity of political parties and look for the candidate who has the best interest of the state in mind and is aware of the challenges ahead. We must vote a candidate who cares about the people more than just the financial side of administration and how much he can embezzle. When you are at the poll and you want to cast your vote, ask yourself if he/she is really what Ekiti needs or if you are only fascinated because they entertain you. Really, take the time to stop, think about who you want to vote for and why, and to educate yourself before casting your vote.
I want to jog your memory that concluding not to vote because you don’t want to contribute to an unfit candidate being voted doesn’t disavow your responsibility. If anything, it makes you guiltier, because you didn’t do anything about it when you can.
If we elect a leader that will lead us astray, history will remember them from diverting us from our common goal, but history will also remember us, the electorates, as the people that let them destroy our dear state. If we elect a capable leader, history will remember him/her as well, but history will also remember us as the citizenry that supported them. So what part of history would you want to be? You decide!
So tomorrow, let’s go out and elect for ourselves a leader that is capable and fit to lead us through this trying time.
Erinle Ekiti a gbe a o.
Ayodeji is a graduate of Microbiology. He is an Expressionist and he likes communicating his thoughts and opinions through the art of writing. He tweets via @aladejanadeji.Read Full Story