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Here are five reasons you should – go out under the sun or in the rain, stand in however long a queue you find and – vote in the upcoming 2019 presidential elections:

Because aren’t you tired of ghastly roads?

I have taken the road trip from Warri to Abuja and it was gruesome. That stretch of road as you drive through the relief approaching Lokoja is a deathtrap. Let’s not mention Onitsha-Enugu-Port Harcourt Road or parts of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Don’t you think you deserve good roads?

Because aren’t you ashamed we are now the poverty capital of the world?

Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most extremely poor people on earth. Note that India, with 1.3 billion people, has a population seven times our own. As it stands, about 50% of our population is living in abject poverty. Don’t you think we deserve more than this; to have our people become poorer as the years go by?

Because aren’t you angry our constitution solely serves the political elite?

It’s no wonder they don’t want to let go of power. It’s no wonder they go from National Assembly to State House and right back to Senate. When you earn over ₦13 million monthly, it’s hard to imagine going back to anything else. Who chose that amount as their salary (including expenses for ‘running their office’)? What justifies it? Let’s put it comparatively; if you earn ₦100,000 monthly (₦1.2 million a year), it would take an average Nigerian senator just 5 hours and 37 minutes to receive what you earn in 30 days. How does that make you feel?

Because don’t you think our universities should be world-class?

None of our universities (state, federal or private) made the 2018 Global Regional (Africa) Ranking of Top 5 Universities. Our best universities rank 1076, 2187, 2230 and 2251, globally. What is more; while our young people are intelligent and simply ingenious, this doesn’t show in the quality of Nigerian schools across board. Doesn’t this make you angry?

Because don’t you deserve affordable, quality healthcare?

I can’t keep track of the number of times I’ve seen Go Fund Me campaigns asking for help with raising medical fees for an ailing Nigerian. And most of the time, the money is raised to pay for medical care abroad. That’s a no-brainer; seeing as our Commander-in-Chief himself prefers the hospitals in London. Aren’t you angry? I reiterate that you should go out and vote in 2019. But beyond that, I plead that you do your own research on these candidates, and decide whom you will go to the ballot box for. Nigeria is ours for the keeping, and our children will ask us what we did to save it.

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This article was first published on 19th September 2018


Ibiene loves poetry and good books. She is the author of a collection of poems and short stories, 'Loving Gladys' (2020).

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