Monday, 2 October 2017



The quote above is from the forty-fourth president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. This is a quotation with very deep meaning which clearly shows that there is an opportunity cost of not voting and that cost is that someone else will vote for you. In practice each voter is only allowed to vote once in an election for a particular candidate. However when you fail to vote it means that someone else’s vote will be counted and reflected in the election results which may not be the candidate that you preferred. But because you felt that your vote was insignificant you failed to take advantage of your civic right which has resulted in someone else winning.

Many people consider a single vote as having no significant value. However there are a couple of ways of looking at this. The first way is to consider that some elections are so close that literally one or two votes could determine the election outcome. This however is not the norm as most election victories have margins of hundreds, thousands and even much more. However the second consideration is that, if everyone is of the opinion that their vote will not make a difference then fewer people will actually show up on Election Day and that will reduce the overall credibility of the exercise. So it’s important to remember that even if your candidate doesn’t win your vote does count.  

Your vote is also significant because it commits you to the electoral process making you an active participant in the country’s democracy. You have a voice and you can be bold about your beliefs. For example some people may vote for a candidate who eventually loses. However it’s possible that the candidate who won does not perform as well as expected and as a result when discussing about candidates you can point out that if your candidate had won perhaps things would be better. This may sway some people towards your candidate who might win the next time round. In addition you get the satisfaction that you voted your choice and perhaps your choice may have been a better performer than the person who actually won. In this way your vote builds up your confidence in yourself and your sense of judgement.

Your vote also matters because it has influence on other people. People who are not interested in voting but who see you going to vote may gain interest and decide to get registered and vote in subsequent elections. This is more pronounced if your candidate wins and does well in office. People around you may now believe that it truly pays to exercise their civic rights. This is very powerful because people are easily influenced by the people closest to them. I know of whole families that vote in elections just because one person voted in the past and started talking about it in the house. I know a family that was so active during the 2015 Presidential election that the father voted one way while the mother and children (those of eligible age) all voted the other way. The father’s candidate won the election eventually. According to one of the children, “daddy bought fresh fish and ate it all by himself saying that he was celebrating the victory of his candidate’’. Eventually others joined in devouring the fish but the interesting thing here is that before 2015 no one voted before in that family except the father. However when the father started promoting his candidate in the home and said he would vote during the election to ensure the victory of this candidate, the children also said that they would vote as well to ensure that their own candidate won. Now imagine a whole family is now voting because of just one person. Imagine if each family member rubs that off on their friends, future partners and so on what impact that would be. So you must never think that your vote is inconsequential. That is completely erroneous. Your vote matters and Nigeria is expecting you to register and cast your vote.  

If you want to join Nigerians who want to make a difference by exercising their civic rights, please you need to Register to Vote Today! It’s TIME TO GET REGISTERED! INEC has made it very easy for you to GET REGISTERED! You can walk into any voter registration centre, on any week day (except public holidays) between 9am and 3pm and GET REGISTERED (find out more and get the app at Just fix one day before the end of this year to get this done. Just a day! Arrive early and you’ll be registered in no time! Your vote is very significant and you need to go and register and make sure you vote! So now is the time. You need to register. Don’t delay anymore. 

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