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An Urgent Memo to Nigerian Voters.
By: Sly Edaghese

Published March 25th, 2015

Dear Voters,

I know the majority of you have already made up your mind as to who to vote for, between Jonathan and Buhari, the two front-runners in the presidential election billed for Saturday. Therefore I am not here to influence your decision or tell you to change your mind. But know this adage: "In a democracy, people get the government they deserve." This implies that your vote counts. More than that. That you'll be responsible for the type of ruler you vote into power: a righteous ruler or a wicked ruler. King Solomon, in Proverbs 29:2, observed: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." This is not a creed but an observation made by the wise king. He tells us that citizens of a nation will rejoice if those in authority are virtuous. If they demonstrate justice, virtue, and integrity, the people will rejoice and be thankful. If on the other hand, by your un-guided vote, you allow in the wicked or the corrupt to rule, the people will mourn and be disgusted and miserable. Certainly I know that the desire of citizens the world over is good government. And I'm sure we Nigerians are no exemption. We too desire good government. But you cannot have good government if you vote in men that are deceitful and low in character; men that will break their Oath of Office and betray the Constitution which they have sworn to uphold and defend. The people surely will be miserable under such a government. The mistake we have always been making in this country is voting along religious and ethnic lines. Such primordial consideration in something as important as election will always result in voting in charlatans, politicians who know next to nothing other than filling their pockets with filthy lucre. And what we don't know is that once these politicians come together in their secret chambers to share public money, they all become religious and ethnic blind.

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There you'll hear an Ibo man, for instance, calling an Hausa-Fulani man, "my brother." The something goes with politicians from other tribes. They hug and address one another as "brothers" and "sisters" whenever there's is booty to share! Whereas in the public they return to us and begin to fan the embers of religious and ethnic hatred. In this election, if you're wise, you'll say never again will you allow any politician to play on your intelligence by raking up religious or ethnic sentiments. Cast your vote for any of the candidates your conscience tells you would be the righteous rulers that king Solomon made allusion to. I end here by repeating the observation made by Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." Happy election. You may not hear my voice again until a new President is announced by Jega hopefully by the early hours of Sunday. Please let's accept whoever emerges as President in this election. If he turns out to be a wicked ruler, after four years you can sweep him away from office with the APC broom, if he belongs to the PDP or flog him with the PDP umbrella if he happens to belong to the APC! So you see, both parties have what it takes to show a wicked ruler the way to the door.



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