Friday, 27 March 2015

MUST READ: The 30 Day Challenge Finale - A Clarion Call To The Nigerian Patriot

Dear Patriot,
I'm glad you were able to secure your PVC. Blessed are you amongst many. Indeed. It's a little over 24 hours to that moment most of us have been waiting for. For some the outcome is important. For others, life needs to continue and the numerous campaigns have been a distraction.

Since I was born, I have never seen this level of intensity and participation from Nigerians about the future of this country. It is at the same time scary and refreshing; and somewhat heartbreaking. Heartbreaking because, again, we have been polarized along tribal and religious lines with a sprinkling of reason in the ensuing madness. It's obvious from my observations on and offline, we haven't moved very far from where we were in the 60s.

And therein lies the problem. 

Nigeria has gotten to that point where it can no longer be business as usual. The social fabric that has bound us together has been ripped in so many places, it will take a lifetime to mend. The process must begin now and that is where you come in.

See, I have heard the arguments, I'm aware of the lies and mudslinging and propaganda that has driven this year's campaign from every side. It tells me that Nigerian politicians have finally come to realize that you are important and indeed you are. While it may sound cliche, it is true: The future of this country is in your hands. Where we go and how fast we get there will be determined by the decision you make in the next 24 hours. They know so, that's why they have employed every means necessary to get your attention and ultimately, your vote.

When you vote, think about your motivations and what drives them. Think about Nigeria as it is and Nigeria as it should be. Think beyond now, this moment and what needs to be done. Think about the kind of country you will like your children to grow up in. Think about the values that must define us as a people and what must be done to entrench them. Think about all that is right and all that is wrong with this country. Think about Nigeria post-elections and imagine life as it would be when we get back to business. Think about you and what you want, what you should aspire to; what you must begin and continue to demand from those you have elected to serve you. Think about the Nigerian brand and sustainability - if we continue like this, will we still have a country in 10 years? Think about the candidates and what they have come to represent; do those things resonate with you or have you allowed the media to influence your perception?

When you vote, make sure you do for the right reasons. Just this once, I ask that you think like a patriot: After all has been said and done, what does Nigeria really need? Who will sincerely serve her interests at this time? Then do the right thing, that history may remember you kindly.

Naomi Lucas

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