By Emmanuel Ebimoh
Another time has come for us to make a decision that will one way or the other affect our lives for the next four years and beyond. In less than 48 hours the fate of the nation will be on the ballot – for progress or for retrogression, to build or to destroy again. It is important to note that as a country we have come this far for progress and we would kick against any move to take us back to the past. We have jumped the hurdle and proved to our accusers that we can indeed stay together despite seeming challenges.
It is no news that Nigeria has all it takes to provide a safe haven for us all. But for too long the character of leadership has been to take our commonwealth for personal gain. We have been battered by leaders who do not understand what it means to lead selflessly.
Since our independence in 1960, corruption, tribalism, religious differences, hatred, and an unsatisfying lust for power have pulled our country to the brink of ruin. But today, as youths we’re beginning to understand that hatred and division will not help us, but love and sacrifice. Today, we have the decision of tilting our country on the path we want. We can decide to make it work for the sake of posterity or sell it to those who want to destroy it.
For those of us that already have our PVC, I urge us to make up our minds to vote come Saturday. But before we do that, let us think about the character of the leader we want to give the highest position in the land. As a writer once said, “Character is essential for leadership”. A man with a questionable character may not make a good leader.
Dear friends, this is not the time to reiterate your allegiance to any political party, nor is it the time to cast judgment or announce your hatred for any candidate regardless of their past deeds or good performances. And yes, this is certainly not the time to follow popular opinions. This is the time to decide and choose with your head and your heart. This is the time to put Nigeria first.
Whether you decide to vote for Candidate A or Candidate B, either way, a winner will emerge. But your vote can make that difference. So before you give out your precious vote, think about the character of that man/woman. Think about their antecedent. Ask yourself if they truly have the desire to put Nigeria first and forgo their personal gains.
It’s easy to make promises when campaigning for votes for an election, but when they get to power what will be their character? Will they divert public funds to their foreign accounts as it has been the custom in past years? Will they become intolerant to the plight of the people and pursue only their selfish interest? Will they build on the hope of taking Nigeria gradually on the path of progress or denigrate our resources to ruin? Will they protect the rights of the people or enforce their selfish agendas?
Let us take away sentiment and think carefully about the character of the leaders we want. The people who think only of themselves rather than the interest of the country would do anything to satisfy their desires. But thankfully, the power to choose now lies in our hands.
Remember, hatred is not an excuse. Let us vote for honest leaders for the sake of our tomorrow.
Written by Emmanuel Ebimoh