4th October, 2017
VOTE OUT CORRUPTION IN 2019
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently announced Saturday, February 16th 2019 as the date for the 2019 presidential election.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends INEC for being proactive. This announcement came early enough to alert all stakeholders to the need for early preparations.
MURIC seizes this opportunity to remind Nigerian youths to ensure that they get their voters’ cards as soon as possible. However, we believe that the earlier they get the cards, the better in order to avoid the rush usually associated with late registration. We advance the same advice to other Nigerians who, for one reason or another, have no voters’ cards.
We note with deep concern that Nigerian youths who are most likely to feel the impact of bad governance more than any other segment in society are often lackadaisical about voting. Yet there is no other globally recognized way of changing a bad system or entrenching a good one besides going through the ballot box.
MURIC reminds Nigerians that corruption has been the major barrier that stands between them and higher living standards. Although the present administration is tackling this social cankerworm headlong, some corrupt politicians occupying sensitive positions have been blocking its efforts. The only way to ease out these corrupt politicians is to become active participants in the electoral process. We therefore urge all Nigerians to get their voters cards in order to vote out corruption in 2019.
Nigerian youths must exercise their franchise and refuse to be used as thugs who will unleash violence on innocent Nigerians. We charge parents, particularly women, to counsel their children properly and to ensure that they are not hoodwinked by political charlatans.
In addition, we invite the electorate to avoid self-disenfranchisement. This is likely to happen if they sell their voters’ cards. Whoever sells his voters’ card has sold his destiny for a pot of porridge. Nigerians must beware of ‘stomach infrastructure’ politicians who will come to them with a plate of rice. Why should we mortgage the next four years (2019 – 2023) for a paltry N500 or a plate of fufu? Nigerians must beware of stomach infrastructure offered only during election time. It will only prolong suffering for another four years. We must vote for credible candidates in order to banish suffering permanently.
According to Martin Luther King Jnr, “Those who love peace must learn to plan effectively as those who love war.” Nigerian security agencies and other stakeholders must work hard to make 2019 general elections violence-free. Kidnapping of candidates, snatching of ballot boxes, launching physical attacks on voters, etc are acts capable of marring elections. Only a free and fair election can lead to good governance and lift Nigeria to the club of democratically mature nations.
As we round up, we remind Nigerians of the wise words of George Orwell that, “People that elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims … but accomplices”. We therefore plead with Nigerians to be fully prepared to send corrupt and selfish politicians packing. The only way to do this is to ensure that we do not only register for the 2019 general elections but we also jealously protect our voters’ cards and put them to effective use at the right time. Corrupt politicians become presidents, governors, senators, etc because good Nigerians fail to vote.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)