2019: Vote wisely for candidates to change your standard of living – Ayisha
July 1, 2018
A woman activist, Mrs Ayisha Osori, has urged Nigerians to participate actively in the nation’s political process and vote wisely for candidates that could change your standard of living.
Osori, the Chairman, Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA), an NGO, made the plea in interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Osori spoke on the sidelines of a Conversation programme entitled: “Stomach Infrastructure in Nigeria’’.
It was organised by BudgIT Nigeria to engage Leaders, Change Agents, Experts and Active Citizens on how to conduct elections in a non-transactional way.
Osori, one of the key speakers at the programme, said it was “difficult to address the topic from the value perspective when people are hungry’’.
“So if you use poverty as a base talk for stomach infrastructure, then, you will realise that it will be hard to talk about values.
“What we should be asking is, ‘Is the hunger just the way things are or is it caused by something?’
“If we realise that hunger is caused by the same people doing stomach infrastructure for us, then, we know they created this hunger to continue to manipulate and to seek for our support,” she said.
Osori advised electorate not to support those politicians who undermined them by underfunding education, health and infrastructure.
She urged them to break the “vicious cycle’’ by getting more involved in politics.
“Some people sell their votes because they have lost hope in the system and think their votes will not count.
“For those of us who still have hope; for those of us who are not living in extreme poverty, let vote correctly, wisely and take active participation in the politics,” Osori said.
Commenting, Ms Abiola Afolabi, the Manager, Civic Hive, Lagos, said that from the conversation, she got to know that people should not necessarily hold political offices before you could serve.
“Your focus should be on serving; it doesn’t have to be on political platforms only.
“You can start from your local community; you can start from your Church or your Mosque,” she said.
NAN reports that a Consultant,Prof. Yomi Fawehinmi, had said “election could be transactional when people vote for candidates based on the promises they made.
Fawehinmi, a former lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), said that the people sold their votes because they had been disappointed in the past through empty promises by politicians.
“It started by politicians in failing to fulfill their promises. So, people don’t believe there is anything you can do for them.
“You can’t promise a hungry man tomorrow when he has not seen anything today,” he said.
Fawehinmi noted that selling of votes do not only take place in politics, but also in organisations.
He said that emphasis should be on taking people’s eyes away from immediate gratification to how their votes could affect them in the long run.