Election have consequences.
This is not a cliche statement it is a trite statement.
If we begin to see the connection between our decisions to either vote for a candidate/party, abstain from voting, or refusal to engage in the electoral process as something that affects the quality of our lives, prices of food, the welfare of ourselves and our children we will take it more seriously.
Let me give you an example, I saw a video on Instagram a few weeks ago doing a comparative analysis on how much the prices of certain food items were in 2015 and how how much they cost now and I was sad. I was seeing why I was poorer and I traced some of it to terrible government policy like border closure which led to trade deficit, ban of certain items etc.
I am using the food price example because as mums and women I know that we are saddled with the “responsibility” of nourishing our family. I know the struggle we face as we make the choice between cost and quality. When the prices of eggs went up i was just racking my brain on how to achieve the 200grams of protein per day goal for my child without going bankrupt.
I repeat again elections have consequences.
When I engage with women (especially the educated middle class ones on social media) and they say things like my votes don’t count, they already know who the winner is, I don’t have PVC or the process of getting the PVC or voting is too stressful I laugh at the ignorance but I acknowledge that their statements are valid at least to an extent.
As a woman are you even aware that some people fought and some died so that you have the right to vote? They are called suffragettes, please do a simple google search.
Women are incredibly powerful but many times we don’t know this power or we don’t wield it the right way because we saddled with domestic issues but that is even story for another day.
This is to beg us, encourage us, implore us all as women to do all we can to ensure that we make a statement with our votes, by giving our mandates to well researched, well engaged candidates with COMPETENCE, CAPACITY and CHARACTER at all levels of government.
Don’t focus on only president or governor Abeg.
Your failure to be part of the electoral process and conversation is costing us a lot as women, we don’t have enough representation in governance, that is why they make policies and laws that doesn’t favour women. The constitution of Nigeria is all the evidence you need.
That is why the prices of food is ridiculously expensive and inflation is about to erase that wealth we are building,
that is why we are poorer and can’t give our children quality education, that is why our children are at risk because many medical professionals have left the country and we don’t have enough professionals to take care of them in critical issues, that is why it is difficult and more expensive to have babies because cost of living and doing business in Nigeria is at an all time high. Hospital bills are so high,
that is why we don’t have sufficient jobs and most of us are under employed and basically struggling.
I could on and on but need I say more?
Women make up half of the population of this country, we are the ones who give birth to future voters and future citizens generally, we have a duty to engage in the electoral process from start to finish, we need to form and constitute a powerful voting bloc and engage candidates at all levels, we must register to be part of political parties,
register to get our PVC (Click here to get started), engage candidates via town hall meeting, social media etc., ask them well researched questions about their manifestoes, their plans and hold them accountable post election, we must defy all odds and stand in the rain or in the sun to ensure hat we vote and that our votes count because our lives, our children lives and future depends heavily on it.
Our collective safety and wellbeing depends on it.
It is very dangerous to sit on the fence, we are all facing the consequences of the last election where many people didn’t vote due to apathy and lack of trust in the process.
So lets make a pact, that starting from today before the registration closes we will all get out to get our PVC,
or we will revalidate our voters cards, and we will do our investigation on all the candidate using the 3 Cs of COMPETENCE, CAPACITY and CHARACTER to judge who will vote for.
We will ensure that our votes count on the day of election, we will use our resources (social media, time , money etc) to further this cause because our fates and that of our children depends on it.
In conclusion, please refuse to believe the lies that your votes don’t matter, if that was true they won’t need thugs to disrupt the elections or give urgent 2k to uneducated people to come and vote for them.
Also remember that your right to vote was fought for with blood and tears by some women and that the reason you have the small freedom you have now to work, to run your business, to own a property etc is because some women fought for it, you must also keep fighting and engaging to ensure that the next generation which includes your children have it better and easier. A country that is poorly governed is a threat to its citizen whether they are in the county or not. We cannot be tired of fighting for good governance in Nigeria, in other words “We die here”
Always remember that elections have consequences.
I leave you with this quote from Henry Ford “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right, the mind is incredibly powerful.” The choice is always yours so please exercise that power of choice.
Adejoke is a lawyer, women rights advocate and business consultant. She is also a certified emotional intelligence expert.
She is a member of the legacy firm, Ogunlewe & Ogunlewe. She also has experience in advisory and litigation practice. Her practice areas include Legal and Regulatory Advisory for Non-Governmental & Non-Profit Organisations, providing legal advisory and support for SMEs.
Adejoke was the pioneer Legal Officer and In-House Counsel at the House of Freedom, a position she created and carved for herself.
She is a seasoned transaction due diligence expert.
She is passionate about helping women with small businesses and start ups with strategic legal solutions.
Her other fortes include human rights and advocacy.
She is married with a daughter.