Saturday Polls: Advice To Electorate BY ILAM PATRICIA AND KELVIN OLOLO

In Breaking News, National News, Opinion, Politics, Reports

The 2019 Presidential and National Assembly election has come and gone, Saturday 9th March 2019, comes the Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections.

This process once again avail citizens the opportunity to participate in the democratic technique of choosing those who they feel are capable of representing them in executive and legislative positions in the state.

Democracy according to Merriam Webster dictionary, it is a government in which the supreme power is vested on the people and exercised by them through a system of representation usually involving periodically free held elections. 

Elections in this sense grant the people the opportunity to take active part in making decisions that affect the state of their political sphere.

Counting down to Saturday‘s polls, there are things the  electorate have to avoid and things to  do during this process in other to actualize the goal of electing those that the cap will fit to  pilot the affairs of governance and make laws with the people at heart as far as democracy and good governance is concerned.

Election is not a time of war; rather it is a time of getting involved in the change process that shapes the political history of our dear state in a positive way. Electorate must avoid getting involved in any form of political violence and actions verbally or none verbally that incite such, because nobody’s blood is worth this game. It is the game that demands only our conscience demonstrated through the use of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) using the big thumb.

Electorate must also desist from selling their votes for peanuts on the bases of the false notion that “votes do not count”, votes count if we will play the part of coming out to make our choice at the poll. Vote selling is a betrayal of posterity and a bad seed sown to be reaped with hardship and pains. Therefore the future of this state should not be traded to incompetence on the grounds of naira and kobo that cannot sustain you for four good years. Oh electorate! Remember Esua in the Holy Book.

Moreover, political apathy and voters’ absenteeism are also one of the things we need to avoid in this upcoming poll. Being insensitive about political exercise such as this, is a great threat to democracy and political growth of the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot select our leaders for us, only we, the people, the citizens, we the fulcrum of government own this constitutional right. Let’s come out and make our votes count lest, whatever comes after now, whether good or bad, we share it all.

It is also crucial to stress at this juncture that false publication of electoral results on the social media should not be a practice by the electorate, as this could provoke panic, fear, and also galvanize conflict that can lead to loss of lives and even endanger our peace and unity as a State. We should respect the rules and regulations enshrined in the electoral guiding the announcement of results by allowing the appropriate body (INEC), charge with this responsibility to announce results. We should allow INEC carry out their constitutional duty and let peace reign in the Nation’s Paradise and our relationships built with time not destroyed, because after the elections we still need each other to keep moving; for no man is an island.

To this end, it is necessary to emphasize that, the progress of Cross River State after Saturday polls will be defined on the conscious decisions and patriotic participation of  Cross Riverians who have attained the voting age of (18years and above). So, Cross Riverians, make your vote count!

Ololo Kelvin, is a student of Mass Communications, Cross River University of Technology and Patricia Ilam, is a student of Business Management, University Of Calabar. Both are interns with CrossRiverWatch.

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