Acclaimed Change Agents Everywhere But Few Changes Happening On Ground By Yusuf Ismail
I was going through some opinion polls online about the performance of the present administration of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the last two year of his administration, I saw in one of the online polls over 900 people out of over 1500 that voted as at the time of this write-up subscribing to the fact that the government of the day has failed with less than 40% achievement thus far.
In as much as I do not want to write anything about the failure of PDP since the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999, one will expect that the outcome of this type of opinion poll is that for every election that involve the ruling party PDP, the result will show the party losing. But unfortunately, that is not the reality of things on ground.
One can argue again that most of the elections are rigged in favour of the ruling party. But honestly, I do not want to subscribe totally to that assertion due to the following reasons:
If we take the statistics of those over 900 people that voted in that online opinion poll, we will discovered that larger percentage of them may not have voter’s card. For those who have, their place of residency might have changed from the ward they registered. Those that have valid voter’s card and residing in the very ward where they registered are weighed down by apathy on election days. When it comes to election day proper, very little of most of us on social media and online are actually making an impact to force the necessary change we deserve.
Last week, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced continuous registration of voters in Anambra State in preparation for Governorship election coming up in that state by November 2013. What I expected most of us on social media residing in Anambra State to do is organise ourselves, using the power of crowd sourcing to mobilise people in our areas who are eligible (18 year +) to go out and register. Without ending it there, we can involve ourselves in enlightening the public and our neighbours who might have moved from place of their last voter registration to revalidate and change their polling unit by visiting INEC office of their new Local Government Area and fill form EC TF 01 which will enable them vote in the polling unit closer to their place of residency since there will be restriction of movement on the day of election.
This writer understand some Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and individuals tried in this respect but can we say we did that enough as an apostle of change agent? Can we rate ourselves above 50%? How many people are we able to influence in this respect? How many eighteen years plus (18 year+) are we able to convince to register at a polling unit close to his or her place of residence? How many of our new neighbours are we able to convince to change his or her polling unit? How many of our aged are we able to confirm still have their voter’s card intact? These are few questions begging for answer.
Politicians don’t wait till election day to perpetrate their election rigging. It all start right from voters’ registration step up until election results are declared. If we can get it right by mobilising all eligible voters to get registered, we would have done more than 50% of the tasks needed to effect change in our various society. The remaining 40% will be to convince the electorate to go out on election day and vote for the right candidate of their choice without been induced materially. While the last step will be to protect our votes from preying eyes of people who want to rig the election till result is declared by becoming a citizen reporter from our polling unit armed with our camera phones.
This type of crowd sourcing and mobilising eligible first time voters to register is what Barrack Obama (The President of the United State of America) used in securing his victory at the poll in his first tenure against all odds.
At the end of the day, no matter the outcome of the election, we will be proud as agent of change to have added value to change process in our country. To me it is a thing of pride rather than pontificating on twitter and facebook without any practical value addition to the change we all seriously deserve.
God Bless Nigeria!
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