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VOTER'S EDUCATION : 7 THINGS ALL NIGERIANS SHOULD KNOW

by Kemi Martins on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 12:46am

1. POLITICAL POWER REALLY LIES WITH US THE PEOPLE
Political Power is a mandate that people hand over to an individual who is elected by the people to serve in an office for a period. It is not the birthright of a selected few neither is it the preserve of military men or someone who has served in a government position before. Nigerians often times believe that certain men either because of their past political affiliations or military occupations are the ones who have "POWER" ; this is not true. Power at all times in a democracy really resides with the people and we give to anyone we deem fit to perform in an office for which individuals have signalled the interest to serve in.

2. IN A DEMOCRACY ,THERE IS NO DIVINE RIGHT TO RULE
DEMOCRACY IS NOT AUTOCRACY NOR IS IT THEOCRACY: In a democracy , an elected official is a public servant elected by the people to preside over the governance in a community , HE IS NOT A RULER.
This Public Servant is not a ruler nor dictator and as such should not use powers or instruments invested in the office which he occupies for self seeking purposes neither should he use them against the people who elected him.
He is not a King and he has no throne. At the end of a stipulated period he shall depart the office and another shall be elected to serve. Sometimes if he is seen as not fit to serve the entire term he shall be replaced before completing the term through an early election by representatives of the people who are representing their interests.

3. AN ELECTED GOVERNMENT IS ELECTED TO PRESIDE OVER THE DELIVERY OF PUBLIC GOODS
What are these public goods?
Public goods are goods or services which a community believes are better achieved through collective means rather than by individual means or efforts. PUBLIC GOODS include - EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, ROADS, PORTABLE PIPE BORNE WATER, POWER (ELECTRICITY) , COMMUNICATION (including internet service), AFFORDABLE HOUSING, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, SECURITY etc.
Hence, the community contributes resources usually in form of TAXES or revenue derived or generated from sale of public resources such as NATURAL MINERALS, AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS etc.
It is the responsible administration of revenue and delivery of Public Goods that Governments are created to carry out. Governments are not created for show or for enhancing CVs.
Any government that neglects these duties or abdicates them is not worthy of re-election and infact sometimes would be prosecuted for mishandling Public revenue or taxes.

4. CURRENTLY IN NIGERIA with the exception of few states such as Lagos, individual citizens provide their own electricity, their own water, their own roads, their own security, their own transport, education etc. THEREFORE it is clear that Government in Nigeria has been highly irresponsible. The Government so far has predominantly been in the business of sharing public revenue in a private manner, using it to enrich themselves and their cronies. Consequently, there is a clear situation of a failed nation with crumbling infrastructure.
Inorder to achieve a change from this state, people must take away power from the current crop of "USUAL" politicians and invest them in "unusual" ones .
Who are the "UNUSUAL" POLITICIANS and HOW will I recognize them?

a. They are politicians who are tired of status quo.

b. They are politicains who refuse to share money or bribe you and the rest of the electorate.

c. They are the Politicians who obviously without your votes will not win the election- e.g PDP does not need your vote to win an election , so look for someone in your community that needs your vote.

d. They are people who are desperate for change, people who are tired of corruption, - you will hear it in their voices, you cannot mistake it when you see it. You have seen it before, Awolowo had it, Aminu Kano had it, Buhari and Idiagbon had it, Gani had it, Ribadu had it and anyone that hates Corruption has it.
LOOK FOR IT.

e. They are people you know, who you relate to but...

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