Many Nigerians appear fed up with the various governments, including the current administration, which have failed to live up to expectation in fulfilling their promises on national development. However, the issue of poor citizen participation in electoral processes leaves a vacuum usually hijacked and exploited by selfish politicians. As another general election year looms, do you think the citizen’s mandate to vote out non-performing leaders and vote in committed representatives is still effective?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* The citizen’s mandate has been and is still very effective. The problem is ignorance by Nigerians who constantly cry of being marginalised but refuse always to vote in the right leaders who will care for their needs. Those people who fail to register to vote are those who criticise everybody in government. We must exercise our mandate to vote out bad leadership.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* The problem is that the citizens do not know their political, constitutional and fundamental human rights.

Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State

* No it isn’t effective. Election is a collective responsibility of all and sundry, but compromises here and there makes a mockery of this issue. Poverty has forced electorates to collect Greek gifts from dubious contestants who deceive, use and turn against them once they clinch the mandate at all cost. Electorates repeatedly fall prey and the result is four or more years of agonising torture and misrule. We must choose selfless and sincere leaders that will lead us to the Promised Land now; otherwise the voters’ cards are meaningless as usual.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Citizen mandate is still not effective as corruption is fighting back unabated, e.g., Queue lines of vehicles are back in search of petrol; yet our country is a producer of petroleum. What can we then say about it now? Are we always going to remain dependants on petrol import?

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State

* No. Nigerians are deeply worried that both previous and even the present administrations have grossly failed to fulfil their embellished promises on national development so far. Citizens’ participation in electoral processes leave a vacuum usually hijacked and manipulated, with fresh elections just around the corner, INEC and the security apparatus leave much to be desired. Voters’ registration and or re-registration are bedeviled with myriad flaws. Youths, leaders, representatives etc must be involved in electing their choice leaders confidently.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* Yes, the electorate mandate still counts if those eligible to vote could do away with notions that their votes don’t count and above all, if the electorate could take the pains of waiting for their votes to be counted in different centers, the process of hijacking would be reduced.

Mr. Osuntuyi Kenny, Ogun State

* Yes, the citizen’s mandate to vote out non-performing leaders and vote in committed representatives is still effective any day. It’s the people that determine leadership in any democracy not the leaders. The people’s power is potent if they participate sincerely and selfishly; if they stop selling their votes for peanuts, if they have patriotic zeal and burning passion to vote in committed leaders who will serve their interest, if they see election as moments of the 3s: decision, destiny and delivery of good and great leaders that make good things happen to our dear country, Nigeria. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja

* Yes, the citizen’s mandate is still effective; just vote out non-performing leaders.

Mr. Yusuf Muh’dBashir Omotayo, Nda-Aliu Kwara State

* Governance is supposed to be a collective responsibility of Nigerian citizens. The multiple problems that Nigerians are currently facing involve wrong choice of leadership which resulted into poor performance. Most of the elections are not transparent and most people do not even have voters’ cards. Thus, when another election comes, we see people crying foul for not having credible leaders and as soon as another leadership emerges the citizens keep mum with no monitoring activities. Nigerian citizens are losing the battles of voting out non-performing leaders because of the illegal means of selection of leaders.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

* Nigerians have seen both sides of the coin and are wiser now. The onus is upon every true Nigerian to rise up and vote right, so our nation can become that egalitarian society our heroes past fought and died for. “The fortunes of Nigeria are in our hands to make or mar.”

Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* The mandate that citizens have to vote out ill-performing governments and vote in outstanding public office holders is a sacred one. I believe this mandate is becoming viable. Were it not effective before today, it’ll be a year from now. The response by Nigerians to the on-going Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR) is a pointer. People now know the importance of procuring the PVC to make voting smooth-sailing.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* It (citizen’s mandate) will still be effective if and only if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducts free and fair election.

Dr. Itodo, Kakuri, Kaduna State

* Unless we adopt Jerry Rawlings of Ghana’s style, our so-called politicians will continue to play with our intelligence over their selfish looting of the treasury. As we approach 20l9 general election, we must get it right by electing credible people in governance so we can move forward. Nigeria has become laughing stock globally because of corruption and selfish leaders.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Even with fresh faces, there is no guarantee that they would be any different. To know the type of leaders fresh candidates will be, some questions need to be answered. Do we give bribes at filling stations to jump the queue? Do we bypass PHCN meters. Do you pay your tax? Do we consider our various tribes to be God’s gift to humanity? Most of us will likely do worse than those in power today if given the opportunity. A society is only as good as its followership because every leader today was at some point an ordinary citizen and you don’t become corrupt or nepotistic overnight. To change the system, a good number of the populace needs to change first.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* To me, the citizen’s mandate is latent and will become very effective when we vote out non-performing representatives in the next general elections in 2019. But such voting power must be exercised with caution, and performance must be benchmarked to determine success or failure.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE RESPONSE

Yes, it is: 5

No, it is not: 4

Others: 6

Radical tip: Drop bad leaders!

Total no of respondents: 15

Male: 13

Female: 2

Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week: Are Nigerians Truly Ready for Change?

Some analysts believe many Nigerians are not ready for change for the better, which may involve painful processes and some level of sacrifice, just like breaking the egg to get an omelet. But others argue that the sacrifice is not collective and that the minority elite in the country don’t share the same view concerning pain and sacrifice, and so the status quo should remain in the nation’s development process. To you, are Nigerians really ready for change?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (February 8 & Monday, February 12) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, February 15