On The March Again

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The picture above represents the neighbourhood this morning. Today we troop out to elect Nigeria’s president. On my way to the accreditation centre this morning, I met a couple of early morning jogging individuals. You can spot them out in the background of the picture posted above.

It struck me how important this year’s elections will be and how similar it is to being summoned for jury duties.

I roused my sister up this morning to exercise her civic duties as well. On my way, I met a man discussing with someone on the phone about how important it was to vote for change by coming out to fulfil this civic duty.

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On reaching the accreditation centre, I saw people trickling in to vote. While the turnout for a vicinity like Magodo might not be large due to voters apathy, I was glad that others took this opportunity seriously. Accreditation was conducted within five minutes.

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Think about it. For the past 12years, we have complained about the poor state of infrastructure within the country. We’ve also criticised the government of the day for not providing an enabling environment where entrepreneurial activities can thrive. Now the opportunity has arrived and some people choose to adopt a “Siddon” look.

No way am I going to adopt such a pessimistic view. I have a duty to perform and I’m going to do that today. What about you?

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Parochial Interests

One of the wonderful things about children is their ability not to worry. They’ve got no care in the world and are happy to take one day at a time. Now that I have two children ( and one on the way) by proxy through my sister, I see how important it is to keep them in that safe bubble.

When I was younger (in my teens), I never realized the full import of elections. Pursuing self-interest was the major past-time. Now, i’m much older and wiser. I realize the need and importance of elections. I know why it is important to participate in the coming elections in January 2011.

I read in the news today about a 52 year old US returnee pharmacist, who decided to sustain his political ambition by smuggling cocaine through the International Airport.  Agitation for self rule, resource control, civil unrest globally is driven by limited access to economic power.  Karl Marx has often been quoted as stating that “Religion is the opium of the people”. I couldn’t agree more. When people are limited economically, it limits the ability to take vital decisions. We’re such a religious country…so freaking religious, it amazes me how we can endure so much. Some people reading this might attribute it to the “Naija Spirit”. I beg to differ. Our search for a daily dough has dulled our inner sensibilities we’d prefer to sell our soul to the devil if salvation (in terms of material wealth) lies with him.

On the other hand, economic power is no power if it’s not backed by an effective political power that translates into respect for the power to vote. Voters registration will soon kick off. What are you doing in terms of registration? Are you going to participate or adopt a siddon look while corrupt officials trample the corridors of power? I’m not sure what our religious leaders are doing. They also need to join the campaign towards fair elections come 2011. They need to preach the interrelated links between political and economic power rather than asking us to cast our gaze upon heaven. More emphasis should be based on educating people rather than asking for seeds and more seeds.

The world might not end anytime soon. For those of us who are bent on storing heavenly treasures, please carry on. However, remember you have a duty to leave the world a bit better for upcoming generations.

Cool2Vote Nigeria

When I say that we have reached a tipping point in this country, I am not joking. 70% of our population consists of youth aged 18 – 33years. Previous generations have failed us. We cannot afford to fail upcoming generations and our children. The time to take our destiny into our own hands is now or never.

We have been born in a time where the world has recorded great advancement in technological breakthroughs. Collectively let us use the changing face of available media to evoke the positive changes we desire. Nan, remember I spoke about setting up a facebook page to ginger change. However, I have stumbled on this initiative titled “COOL2VOTE” set up by like minded individuals who are bent on effecting change through the power of our collective votes. We can do it and yes we can set the ball rolling. Please  this is no time for idle chats, popping champagne, or rollercoasting while our future is at stake.

Remember the changes and development that have attracted a lot of global widespread attention within our music and film industries? Who drove these changes? We- the youths of this country. If we could effect this for sectors within this country, how much more the political climate? I have hope for this country. You and I have a responsibility to deliver on this great promise. 2011 is around the corner…don’t wait for the world to change. Be a part of that change. Stand up, Be counted, get Registered and let your Vote Count. If you would like to volunteer your services for this organisation, please send a mail to: cool2votenigeria@gmail.com

Join “Cool2Vote Nigeria” on facebook and let’s start the journey towards a better country.

Remember “No Vote, No Swag”. Peeps, we can do it. Raise the consciousness.