If you have not collected your voters card, in spite of the difficulties, you are actually part of the problem. Thank God INEC has extended the time again. The process is tedious. The politicians made it so. They want it so. They want to discourage us from participating so they can continue to lord incompetence over us. But try and shame them by going through the stress to get your card. I have mine. Very important.
If you already have yours, let us have a discussion. Don’t make your card a mere ID card. Try and go to the polls on election day and vote. Vote for democracy. Vote for your choice. Vote for someone that your conscience tells you will be able to improve the wellbeing of their community. Don’t vote for ethnicity and zoning; what I call ‘zonocracy.’
Democracy and Zonocracy are not the same thing. One allows the generality of the people to constitutionally choose their leaders from the open field while the other allows political stalwarts to unconstitutionally restrict the choices for voters by cornering the search.
Let me tell you why you should prefer democracy to zonocracy.
1. In a democracy, power is not zoned. Power is given by voters. Zoning is mediocre.
2. According to Chapter 10 of our Constitution 1999, Nigeria is a secular State. Secular means not connected with religious or spiritual matters. Not subject to or bound by religious rule. Even countries that midwifed religion for us select their leaders based on considerations other than their religion.
3. Nigeria since 1999 has been sharing power based on religion and ethnicity. It’s 24 years. What progress have we made with that formula apart from creating overfed potbellied criminal politicians from the enclaves that have held power? Is there any part of the country that has become more developed than others since 1999 because a leader came from there? Apart from the psychological masturbation of our ethnic egos, can we quantify and itemize the tangible development that zoning has brought since 1999? Infact, the only time Nigeria saw any form of development was when power wasn’t zoned, both in previous republics and under the military.
4. One of the basic guarantees of democracy is the right of every qualified citizen to aspire to any office in the country at every time there is election. Zoning says if your tribesman or your religion-man has held that position before, you can no longer aspire and if you must do, you must suspend it until a later time. This is not only undemocratic, it is an aspiration extinguisher. It is repulsive and repugnant to democracy.
5. They say zoning brought peace and equity. But I look left and look right, I look north south east and west of Nigeria and I can see neither peace nor equity. What a lie they have continued to tell us.
So please, reject zonocracy and vote for democracy as you go to the polls in 24 days.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.