On The Verge Of A New Dispensation - by Taiwo Odukoya

Nigeria is on the verge of a new political dispensation. Indeed, the times are proving to be interesting and particularly instructive. For one, never in the history of this nation have the citizens been so interested in the electoral process. The Independent National Electoral Commission and the political candidates are under intense public scrutiny, both locally and internationally. Put simply, the world is watching us. Not just in the outcome of the coming elections, but in the way and manner we conduct ourselves.

The truth is, there are a number of speculations from people who hold sincere concerns on the outcome of the elections. Political pundits hint on the possibilities of rigging and violence given our ever present fault lines. Optimists insist we will come out stronger on the other side. Regardless of our present political position, one thing is certain: Nigeria is our collective responsibility.

While the burden of our national direction falls on leadership, we as citizens hold an undeniable stake in the outcome of our country per time. And as a result, it is up to us to work together to ensure that the elections are conducted as peaceably and efficiently as is possible.

It is our duty to ensure that Nigeria remains governable and prosperous. This demands that we throw our full weight behind the electoral process, educating as many people as we can, insisting on civil discourse from all parties and above all, transparent elections that will be beyond reproach.

Here are a few considerations we should collectively ponder on:

Democracy is primarily driven by the collective will of the majority of the people. So, your vote counts. It is not enough to keep your voter card solely for personal administrative purposes; you have a responsibility to vote for the candidate of your choice.

You may ask, “What if I do not have a preferred candidate?” The truth is, although there will likely not be a perfect candidate, you can still make a sincere but informed choice from the available options. The exercise of your franchise is particularly important because, by your direct involvement, you frustrate any plans to rig the elections.

Violence is never an option, so under no situation should you be found instigating it. In the least, it will endanger the life of other citizens and put you at risk with the authorities. More so, it smears the reputation of our country. So, you must not only vote deliberately but also peaceably. Make it a point of duty to be security conscious as well. Be alert and quick to report any questionable activity to the authorities.

In the 18th century, Korea was an isolated and primitive land riddled with fear and superstition. But in 1907, a small band of people decided to redirect its course. They agreed to meet together to pray for their nation. Four months later, it went viral. By 1912, over 300,000 more people joined in. Their prayers birthed the South Korea we know today.

Following the upsurge of violence in certain parts of Nigeria, different prayer groups have sprung up across the country. And the simple reason is this: Nigeria needs prayers just as much as she needs strategic leadership.

Leave nothing to chance. God expects you to raise your voice in intercession. Keep speaking positively and be confident in God’s ability to preserve the destiny of this country.

Nigeria has a great future!

- Taiwo Odukoya is Senior Pastor of The Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos


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