#20LawsOfDemocracy: All you need to know before voting at the next elections (Part 2)

by Damilola Jagun

The Nigerian general elections is imminent, and quite a number of people are really interested in making sure their votes count, this time around.

In view of this, we bring you remaining (10) of the 20 Laws of Democracy – all you need to know about the forthcoming general elections.

11. Do Not Be Afraid To Criticise

Criticism keep the gear of democracy engaged .Criticisms, whether constructive or otherwise raises the bar for excellence in both leadership and followership to the benefit of the citizenry. In the word of Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, “the man dies who in all who keep silent in the the face of tyranny” .Never be afraid to criticize; criticism never posts a loss in the account of good governance.A progressive government benefits from criticism. Never be afraid to criticize.


12. Beware Of Hasty Promises
Hasty promises by politicians are signs of either incompetence, lack of clear vision or insincerity.The hastier the promises of a politician, the lower the possibility of fufillment.Hasty promises are insults on the intelligence of the people.Beware of hasty promises; they are likely to result in disappointment.
13. Do Not Consider Age In Isolation
In a democracy, age is not a guarantee for clarity of vision, competence or wisdom required for good governance. Democracies abound in history where the young and the old have excelled beyond belief .The energy of youth and the experience of age amounts to nothing except it counts for progress for the people.Never consider age in isolation; age is not a substitute for knowledge, integrity or ability to lead
14. Do Not Give In To Gender Temptation
Prosperity is not defined by the gender of the leader but by opportunities the leader creates for the people. When selecting a leader, selflessness and responsiveness are more important than gender .Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghadhi, Margater Ekpo and Queen Amina are familiar models of emulation. They are remembered more for their accomplishments rather than their gender.



15. Do Not Ignore Antecedents
The antecedents of a political office seeker are birthmarks that cannot be erased by freshly brewed promises.Assess politicians based on their antecedents. The past record of the politician must be considered vis-a-vis his promises for the future .Do not ignore antecedents; a peep at the past always helps to guide the future.



16. Consider Religious Affiliation With Caution
The role of religion in any democracy is that of moral and spiritual guidance for the people. Religious affiliation is constitutional but must considered along with other critical factors to ensure good governance and prosperity for all.Consider religious affiliation with caution, a sound choice must be based on established qualification and capability.



17. Be Consistent With Your Conviction Even If It Is Unpopular
The consistency of a less popular opinion is more powerful than a popular opinion that lacks the salt of true conviction. Democracy is not merely a contest for the most popular opinion; it is also test of true and consistent conviction.Abraham Lincoln, one of the founding fathers of America is reputed to have failed elections a record nine (9) times before becoming the president of the United States.Be consistent and diligent in your convictions. History and time will reward you.
18. Report All Known False Claims By Politicians
The false claim of a politician is an irritable assault on the intelligence of the voter.The more truthful a candidate is, the more he deserves your vote. It is a civic responsibility for citizens to report every false claim by office seekers. Expose all false claims by politicians; you may just rescue your generation from an incompetent regime.


19. Never Fail To Stand-up For Something
In a democracy, standing for nothing suggests a lack of purpose.The reward for standing firmly for a reason can only be fulfillment and respect from those who agree or disagree with us. Standing for a principle, even when you do not achieve your aim is noble and it advances your cause.



20. Consider Joining An Organized Group, Union Or Movement
Organized groups are the building blocks modern democracies. The power and essence of a legitimate agitation, assertion or ideology is greatly enhanced when championed by a constituency .An organized movement or association may transfer the legacy of an ideology for a million years through the best and worst times and still maintain its integrity.Consider joining an organised group; it amplifies your voice.


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