The National Coordinator of Democracy Vanguard, Adeola Soetan, is calling on Nigerian electorates to wake up the potency of their voting powers, as Nigeria prepares for the 2015 general election.
The former Chairman of the National Conscience Party, NCP, was the guest of Channels Television, appearing on the breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’.
He preached that there was need to educate the Nigerian electorates about the power of their votes, with emphasis on telling them: “Don’t vote for those you think can win, vote for those who can perform.”
He warned that although Nigeria was truly going through tough times with the state of insecurity, it would however be worse if the country failed to address the issue of electoral fairness in the country. He noted “Boko Haram is bad but the electoral war is worse.”
He explained that the politics that involves electorates being bribed with food items and money affects their view of the election, as an impression is created that whoever failed to do same would not win, a situation that leaves even the elites with an impression that even the better candidate would not win.
He explained that despite being the Chairman of the party, he did not vote for the governorship candidate of his party the NCP in Ogun State during an election because he did not feel convinced about his ability to perform. He noted that the candidate might have emerged from his party because the majority believed in him, but that did not affect his personal conviction about the candidate, a stance only possible due to his understanding of his right as an electorate.
His advice was that that there is need for candidates vying for political positions to make their plans known, so that the people can be able to hold them responsible for something when they are voted for.
In order to ensure this, he said that what his organisation was doing was an intervention in the electoral process, displaying the Nigerian Voters’ Handbook which he said was printed by his organisation.
On how to reach over 70 million electorates, Soetan said that after their launch of the book in a press conference on Monday, they would be going to different parts of the country to engage electorates in series of interaction, starting from Ekiti State.
Speaking further on the Nigerian Voters Handbook which has been printed in English language, Mr. Soetan promised that the book would be translated in other Nigerian languages to enable them reach out to more people at the grassroots.
He added that the handbook was a product of research carried out by the Democracy Vanguard, and it corrects many misconceptions, addresses many issues that tend towards educating the people about their rights and creating in them the right perception of the concept of voting.