So April 2nd is here. It is time to vote for who will represent you at the National Assembly, be it Senate or House of Representatives. This election is as important as the elections for the executive arm and President, which has already been fully emphasized as evidenced by the huge media coverage of the Presidential campaigns.
The National Assembly election is important because it is the first time we are going to vote under the “Jega” INEC with the verified voters register. It is also an opportunity to send a clear message about rigging and election malpractice. If done well, this election will help to improve morale amongst the citizens of this nation and help to reduce the skepticism that is at the back of our minds.
The National Assembly Election also provides each and every voter the opportunity to comment on the performance of their Senator or National Representative. When you vote for the incumbent, it is an endorsement of the work they have done thus far and if you vote for someone else you are registering your dissatisfaction with his/her performance.
What is to be expected of a House of Representative member or Senator? I can’t claim to be an expert but from what I know, a legislator is meant to make sure the voice of his people are heard in the National arena. The Legislator should only endorse or vote for bills that will positively impact his community. It is key that the Legislator keeps in touch with his community and know what the needs of the people are. How will he/she do this? Ideally, a legislator should have an office in the constituency with people who will be able to carry out surveys and find out first hand what the problems of the people are. A legislator should also spend a lot of time when he/she is free with his constituents, He is not meant to stay for most of the elected term in Abuja but is meant to regularly visit his people. Another responsibility of the Legislator is to make good use of the development fund he is given for his constituency to put capital projects on ground and give his people tangible dividends of democracy. A legislator should be a consummate politician and have a good relationship with the executive arm of the state he/she is representing so that he/she can positively influence the executive arm to help solve some of the problems faced by constituents.
All in all, in my books if a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives doesn’t follow the rules listed above then the person is not worthy to represent you and me. As we go to vote, remember to vote wisely and fearlessly remembering not to intimidated or bullied by anyone.
If there are any problems during voting that you observe report here.
How to Report
Please specify EXACT LOCATION – Polling units, Ward, Local Goverment and State
1. By sending a text message to 08166662222 or 08096662221 or 08120006622
2. By Calling 07006662222
3. By sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. By sending a tweet with the hashtag/s #reclaimnaija or #RSVP
5. By filling this form
My fellow Nigerians, As we approach the election. Please endeavour to save the number for the website above so you can report incidences of election violence or rigging. Remember to send as much information as you can on the perpetrators. Pictures will also be welcome. Let us save our country from perdition