I was born in Nigeria during a short-lived quasi-democracy but grew up under back-to-back-to-back dictatorships where freedom of speech was (and still can be in some quarters) stifled. I grew up when and where power and wealth was (and still very much is) concentrated among a small but extremely corrupt section and demographic of the population. So I think I’ll be taking a lot of things for granted if I didn’t cast my vote.
Not only did I vote, I voted for those Federal, State and Local candidates who have proven that they are genuinely interested in the betterment of ALL Americans across our diverse ethnicities, genders, beliefs, trades, economic conditions, sexual orientations and ideologies. I voted for candidates who are NOT hell-bent on accumulating and maintaining power. I voted for candidates who have stayed away from the identity politics of today and stayed out of the divisive, tribal rhetoric that have taken over our polity. I voted for candidates who believe in the American project of freedom, the pursuit of happiness, inclusiveness and general welfare for all.
I voted not based on what family traditions have been. I voted not based on party affiliation. I voted not based on what close friends or parents think. Instead I voted using this simple criterion: what is best for America, not only today but the future.
So as you cast your ballot and make your choices, ask yourself this: Am I voting to align myself with power-drunkenness or Am I voting on policies that benefit all (the real meaning of democracy)?
And if you are eligible to vote but didn’t plan to, please think again. America needs your vote. Our democracy depends on you.
God bless you as you read this. God bless America. God bless my home country Nigeria.