With D-Day now thirty days away, it seems a good time to ask: have you made up your mind on whom to vote?
If the past couple of days are anything to go by, making a choice may have become tougher for many who had brokered a deal to hold their nose and vote a ‘lesser evil’. President Muhammadu Buhari appeared on Wednesday night at a townhall-like event. Not only did he evade answers to most of the questions put to him by moderator Kadaria Ahmed, he came across as aloof and distant as he has often been accused of being. His Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, more than once, had to clarify words (like “livestock” and the Disability Bill) to him, answering majority of the questions.
Earlier on the same day at a different venue, PDP’s Atiku Abubakar dropped a clanger, saying he will enrich his friends when he becomes president. Yes, he actually said so, whatever he may have meant. Thanks to that, his vow to privatize NNPC, even if at the peril of his life, has failed to garner the goodwill it may have evoked. Instead, attention has gone to the failed privatizations he oversaw as Vice President under Obasanjo.
One of those who testify to that is Obiageli Ezekwesili, perhaps the most popular of the other candidates in the February 16 race. She is running to win, believing the APC and PDP to be birds of same feather that can no longer deliver value to Nigerians. But she is not without challengers for the most-likely-to-gate-crash-the-presidency crown; Kingsley Moghalu has had two interviews recently in which he, among other things, faulted Ezekwesili’s coming to referee the failed PACT alliance without his being aware, and Fela Durotoye – winner of the PACT elections – is motivating his base to turn up on Twitter polls.
Meanwhile, Omoyele Sowore is campaigning hard while still smarting from the opportunity denied his VP candidate at the debates held in December, Jerry Gana has all but taken the SDP’s flag, and Eunice Atuejide has not suspended her campaign.
The 2019 race is crowded. Lots have been said by candidates and many of them have sounded convinced about their ideas. Lots of noise have been made as well, necessitating a platform to provide direction on who has said about what.
Which is where the ‘Know Your Candidates’ platform comes in.
Listing 24 of the candidates in this year’s elections, the website curates bullet points of what each candidate has said about a given issue. Clicking on the ‘Go Deeper’ button, you are taken to their words in quotes with references so a reader (or prospective voter) can verify the authenticity of those statements. Links to the candidates’ campaign and social media pages are also provided.
But that’s not all: you can directly compare what any two candidates say on any particular issue/topic. For example, you could compare the level of divergence between Kingsley Moghalu and Obiageli Ezekwesili on the subject of restructuring, or what differentiates Atiku Abubakar’s position on State Police from that of President Muhammadu Buhari (whose opinion, by the way, is not shared by his Vice President).
In effect, kyc.civicmonitor.com could be an effective tool for the voter particular about issues in these elections. If you believe leaders should be chosen based on what they think and what they can do, this seems a platform that you should have recourse to over the course of the coming five weeks.
Like ‘Kunle Adebajo says, elections should not be like Nairabet where we vote who is more likely to win against whom we want to win. And unlike football or other sport competitions, individual choices CAN influence the outcomes of elections. The only deficit has usually been on making informed choices.
KYC’s slick design, ease of use, and the creators’ labour to make its content based on facts and not spin should solve this need for the 84 million voters registered for next month’s polls.
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