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10 things to keep in mind (2)

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YOU cannot command the naira to become equivalent to the dollar. It cannot happen and if you force it, you destroy the economy instanta. Security of lives and property must be guaranteed by all means and experience in dealing successfully with security challenges must count.

6. Talk is cheap but action is better

We must keep in mind that making promises is the easiest thing but getting things done is the real challenge. Let’s be careful that we are not overawed or hypnotized by the high pitch media blitz and propaganda. So many promises have been made but let’s realize that there may never be enough resources to get them implemented. So when we hear of free education at all levels, free healthcare for all, housing for all, free meals at school and full employment, we must ask how the money will be provided. Will taxes go up? And those making those promises, what is their background and history? What have they done in the past with their own resources and with public resources? What promises did they make in the past and how many did they keep? That helps to make a rational choice. Trusting only in what they promise to do in future while forgetting what they did or did not do in the past will be too risky if you ask me.

7. Be rational, not emotional

There is so much emotion flowing around. Emotions are natural and can be helpful in dealing with some transient challenges but they are seldom helpful in making decisions; less so in critical decisions like choosing political leaders or any leaders for that matter. The only reason you want to promote a guy to a higher position or you want to hire him for a new job is that he has the requisite qualification, relevant experience and appropriate skills for the job. If you base your choice on how handsome or stern he looks and which village he comes from and from the tales you read on the Internet without iota of evidence, you will soon regret your choice or actions. Choosing leaders, like choosing key employees, must be based on stated criteria and the appropriate fit. You can be fanatical about a Nollywood actor or musician and vote for him for academy awards but you cannot and must not do so for a political leader. Such speeches as “we want him even if he did not go to school” or “we want him because he comes from a minority tribe” smacks of extreme emotion and will not work here. We must all do a cold-blooded analysis of the fit of our candidates against carefully chosen and relevant criteria based on facts not fiction or emotions.

8. Only the living vote and enjoy democratic dividend

As we vote for our rationally preferred candidates, let us keep in mind that only the living vote and only the living enjoy democratic dividends. When they ask you to protect your votes, please ask them with what? Your life? Say No. Since we all trust INEC (interestingly, the APC seems to trust more than the PDP) and believe they would do a good job, why should we interfere with protecting votes. They are independent, and should not need anybody’s help to do their jobs! They have the security forces and the party agents to help them protect votes. Too many people milling around the polling booths or collation centres can instigate violence. Some people who may be disenfranchised by the card readers may be angry. Accidental bullets may be released. We have constitutional ways of correcting any wrongs done to any candidate in elections. The judiciary has intervened in the past and are ready to intervene this time around. So we must not resort to self help, no matter the level of provocation.

9. Four years is not eternity

In the last 16 years, we have had four presidents govern Nigeria and many governors run the states. 2011 was just four years ago. So no matter who wins in these elections, we have another four years to try again. Time passes very fast. Therefore we must not kill Nigerians or seek to destroy the nation because we or our candidate lost. If all Nigerians were killed because we lost in 2011, to who should we be campaigning to for votes in 2015. Those who lose should quickly congratulate the winner as Dr. John Kayode Fayemi (JKF) did last year after the Ekiti Elections, an exemplary and praiseworthy action that helped to prevent post electoral violence. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (GEJ) has openly declared that he would congratulate the winner if he lost but General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) says he does not contemplate losing. I stand by that famous saying by GEJ that the ambition of any politician or leader is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
10. Let the perfect will of God be done

I am glad that most Nigerians agree that the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the World and they that dwell therein. Also many of us believe that promotion does not come from the East or from the West, neither from the North, nor from the South. Many even believe that you cannot get anything except the Lord gives it to you and a significant others believe that anything that happens to you is the will of God. Is it not then, the height of hypocrisy to believe all these and still want to force your will on the people and perhaps attempt to force it also on God. My plea is that for once, let Nigerians practise what they believe and preach. Whoever wins must be the will of God. If he or she is not, let us trust that the Lord will dethrone and disgrace such persons. He has done it severally in times past. And in all this we need not help God. Let us just go out peacefully to vote for our rationally chosen candidates and let INEC officials do what they ought to do, and then let the God of all nations choose our political leaders on March 28 and April 11, 2015.

• Concluded
• Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR is an industrialist



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