How Not To Vote As a UIMSAite

As someone who has observed numerous elections, particularly in the Nigerian political domain, I am fascinated by the reasons people give for selecting a particular candidate. While some voters provide well-thought-out and logical explanations, others seem to make their decision based on personal biases and prejudices, which can be quite perplexing.

According to the individualistic philosophical principle by John Locke, every person has their own unique set of beliefs and values which can impact their decision-making process, particularly when it comes to choosing a candidate during an election. Nevertheless, it is essential for UIMSAites to bear in mind that the objective of an election is to choose the candidate most qualified to represent the aspirations and concerns of the Association, rather than just select a few individuals.

When voters base their decision on personal biases, they risk electing a candidate who may not be the best choice for the overall well-being of the Association. For instance, if someone votes for a candidate simply because they share the same religious or ethnic background, it may not necessarily mean that the candidate is the most qualified or capable of performing the duties of their elected office. On the other hand, when voters make an informed decision based on a candidate’s track record, policies, and plans, they are more likely to choose a candidate who will genuinely represent their interests and those of the Association.

Ultimately, it’s crucial for UIMSAites to take the time to research the candidates and their platforms and to consider the broader implications of their vote. By doing so, they can help ensure that the elected candidate is the best person for the job and that UIMSA’s needs are met.

Thankfully, the UIMSA political sphere is free from controversial figures like MC Oluomo or Simon Ekpa, and there are no threatening political statements such as the infamous “Dogs and baboons soaked in blood” comment often seen in Nigerian politics. However, personal biases still exist within the UIMSA community, despite its reputation for being filled with intellectuals. It is regrettable that some of the most educated members of society in Nigeria have fanned the embers of division, hate, and bigotry along the sensitive lines of ethnicity and religion during previous elections. As an academic community, UIMSAites have a unique opportunity to lead by example and demonstrate to the rest of Nigeria how to vote without resorting to such negative practices. So, how can UIMSAites vote responsibly?

Firstly, UIMSAites should cast their vote without any consideration of tribalism. It is essential to recognize that every candidate should be judged based on their qualifications and not their ethnic background. Additionally, UIMSAites should avoid favouring candidates based on shared commonalities such as religion, private affiliations, or social and academic class. These biases can be detrimental to the electoral process and prevent qualified individuals from receiving the recognition they deserve.

Furthermore, it is vital to refrain from making decisions based on misogynistic or misandrist considerations. Such biases are sometimes present in class WhatsApp group discussions, where people provide subtle justifications for their choice of candidates. It is essential to assess a candidate’s merit, qualifications, character, and abilities without considering their gender.

Finally, UIMSAites must avoid political apathy which has been a persistent problem in the Association. It is important to turn up in large numbers to exercise the right to vote and guarantee that the association progresses. As there are fewer candidates running for elective positions in this year’s election, it is even more vital to cast our votes and make them count than ever before.

In conclusion, UIMSAites have a unique opportunity to set an example for Nigeria and promote responsible voting practices. By voting without biases, showing up in droves, and evaluating candidates based on their merits, UIMSAites can ensure a fair and successful electoral process.

Thomas Jolly

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