In every electoral contest, a winner or loser must eventually emerge at the end of the day. As a passionate follower of the current political events that have generated so much anxiety, over heated the polity and polarized our people along ethnic, regional and religious lines, I would rightly state that such unfolding events are not healthy and worthy of accommodation within our political edifice.
Though our democracy is nascent, we have certainly come a long way that by now we all ought to have imbibed democratic principles within us that eschew the use of fire-starting remarks in addressing issues most especially in a highly volatile electioneering period like what is obtainable today, the recent call by the first lady of Nigeria Dame Patience Jonathan on the 2nd of March 2015, during a PDP rally in Calabar, the capital of Cross River state urging supporters of the ruling party PDP to “stone” opposition proponents clamouring for change, should be condemned in strongest terms by all peace loving people.
The ugly development of electoral violence must not be allowed to blossom. Concerted efforts must therefore be made by all and sundry to ensure we preach the message of peace and unity as the only panacea to overcoming some of our lingering developmental challenges.
I would like to categorically state that my partisanship and vested interest in a particular candidate at the moment is based on my absolute conviction that such a person if given the opportunity possesses the requisite capabilities of discharging his functions of duties bestowed upon him by virtue of the office occupied for the betterment of all our diverse people.
In the course of professing my unalloyed support for my preferred choice of candidate at the polls, I have done so with absolute belief that others who hold opposing views from mine are not my enemies.
I frankly feel every individual has the right to choose where he/she takes a stand” politically as it is a sacred right guaranteed to all law abiding citizens. Democracy provides a platform for participatory governance by the populace getting involved in all processes that eventually culminate into a governing body headed by elected officials.
The role of the opposition in any democratic clime is not to discredit and frustrate the developmental initiatives of the ruling party it opposes but the opposition acts like a watchdog that checks the excesses of the ruling party wherever the need arises in the collective interest of the masses who entrusted their mandate to them for effective representation.
The role of the Opposition therefore in our contemporary system of democracy reflects the assertion that a delicate balance must be maintained between permitting elected governments to govern and legislate effectively, and ensuring that power is exercised with care and with respect for minorities and for dissenting views without impunity and abuse of official privileges.
Without the opposition certainly there would be no basis upon which democracy can thrive or be practiced.
Democracy provides the ample opportunity for the people to choose whom they feel should govern them and such choices made by majority of the people through appropriate means of conducting credible and transparent elections must be observed and credible results derived must be upheld without succumbing to the malicious wish of a few who always intend to by-pass the process by using fraudulent means in desperation to acquire power.
It is pertinent to note that wherever the will of the people is suppressed, anarchy looms predictably.
Albert Einstein, once concisely said, “it is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs”. This particular quote should reinvigorate the relapsed spirit of patriotism in some of us who have decided to “sit on the fence” and for most of us whom have openly demonstrated our partisanship, we should be encouraged to do so in the ambiance of unity and love devoid of unwarranted hatred against our opponents.
Our choices of candidates are certainly those whom we should have absolute faith and trust in as I would like to believe our senses of judgement and giving credence to a particular candidate should not be hinged on the basis of ethnic chauvinism or religious bigotry but with the sense of belief in the ideological principles of democracy where our intent is for the growth of our nation not for selfish reasons or actions intended to pave way for a leader perpetuating himself in power even when his performances or track record in office does not meet the desired yearnings of the people.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm my firm believe in all democratic principles that promotes the sacred rights of all individuals to choose freely without coerce, prejudice and victimisation of opposing views in any democratic milieu. If the upcoming elections are peacefully conducted and adjudged to be transparent and credible, I implore all of us irrespective of our political differences; in the interest of nation building to embrace the outcome without resulting to destructive tendencies that debilitate our social and economic growth.
Tersoo TeeCube (freelance Writer, Artist and Creative Activist).
He can be followed on Twitter @teecube_t3rsoo