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"Your voters' card is your passport to make change"
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"Your voters' card is your passport to make change"

Musa TemidayoUsing your vote at election time is an opportunity to shape the country by deciding which politicians will succeed, writes Musa Temidayo, 24, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nigeria, who argues that every vote counts in any election.

In Nigeria, without your Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC), you are not eligible to vote. I read somewhere that voters take part when they feel something is at stake. If they expect their side to win easily, or are uninspired by the opposition, they stay at home. One can say, that can be true to a very reasonable extent.

If you are part of the bandwagon that still thinks your vote does not count in any election, the good news is that you have been robbing yourself of  the choice of leadership you feel might have effected  the change you have always desired. What tool do we have to protect and maintain our freedom? Our votes!

Your vote is your only shot as a citizen to kick out bad governance. How? Why do you think politicians literally come to knock at your door every now and then, and why is that you see them practically everywhere? It is because they cannot put themselves in power! They need the people’s power to do so.  So when you do not vote or when people do not vote, they create a power vacuum. In a possible long run, if you do not use your right to vote, you may lose your right to vote.

Also, your vote makes you feel represented. Apart from it being a civic responsibility, your vote makes you feel you can assert the change you want. Instead of having to carry placards or making unsatisfactory statement about a leader you did not even vote for, your vote can erase those worries. To guard against the ‘unworthy candidates’, it can make you complain with integrity! If you do not vote your interest, who will?

So in these general elections, fellow Nigerians, rise up and let the votes work! Your vote is the beginning of a relationship with your representatives, which can bolster your role in your community. If you do not vote, you cannot complain.

Furthermore, in elections, your vote counts! If you have this feeling that your vote does not affect the election results of any candidate, then you have been reading the wrong books. In a general election, again I say, every votes count! The more reason why you should get your Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC). Do not just get your Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) just for the sake that you might need it for a form of identification or to be eligible for something else other than exercising your voting right.

On a last note, remember there are more than just two candidates contesting for the presidential power, there exist so many others, so do not be of the thought that there exist just two presidential candidates. On these election days, my country, go out there and exercise your voting right.

photo credit: Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield Speaks With Nigerians Waiting to Register to Vote in Abuja via photopin (license)
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About me: I am from Nigeria, currently studying International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Osun state. I’m also the Editor-in- Chief for the department. I love travelling and singing, and have  interest in Management and Developmental Issues.

Aside from studying, I work as as the Chairman of my department’s magazine. I want to be a Manager-Human Resource & Conflict Management, and also hope to serve in the Nigerian foreign service.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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