Advocacy group, Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), has called on the Nigerian populace to take political participation more seriously ahead of the 2023 general election, as according to it, active participation of citizens in the electoral process is the only way to change the country for the better.
The group which made the call in a statement on Tuesday by its president, Mr. Wale Ogunade, promised to engage the electorates more actively in the coming months with a view to educating them on the importance of political participation.
“The 2023 General Election is around the corner and is an opportunity to turn around the fortune and future of Nigeria for the better politically, socially, economically, morally, psychologically and all facets of the life of Nigeria,
“We cannot continue to do things the same way and expect a different result. We have conducted ourselves in a particular way, which is ELECTING the same set/class of people using sentiments, tribe, religion, quota, zoning, consensus and other mundane variables, to pick and or select candidates for elective offices,” Ogunade said.
“We can’t continue this way and expect to progress. A people or country that throws away merit and embraces mediocrity and sentiments cannot but retrogress. It is only in Nigeria, that the best is rejected in the process of head-hunting for political office, in particular.
“The process of head-hunting in Nigeria does not give room/opportunity to the BEST to present themselves for leadership and when sometimes they do, the system/ process emasculates them and scares them away.
“To change this situation, we must all put our hands on deck, join hands to partake fully in the electoral process.
“The time to start is now, the political train is about to move, INEC will soon roll out time table, there are about 18 recognised political parties and aside from two, all others have not organised their congresses and conventions, which means there is still opportunity for you to be involved in the 2023 ELECTION, AS AN ACTOR/PARTICIPANT and not cheerleader or critic.
“The time to start is NOW! This is the time to organise and not agonise. The politicians, particularly the conventional politicians, have been organising and positioning themselves since 2020.
“The time to organise ourselves is now and we have to do it or we will be worse off again and the agony will be very grave.
“We will not talk about the economy and security now which does not need rocket science to solve, despite being an oil-producing country, we are not enjoying this God-given resource, this is akin to the child of a meat seller having bone as meat.
“We will be engaging you from time to time in the next few weeks on how to go about this journey of getting it right this time around, as we start the official count down to the elections coming up in February 2023.”