(Vote or Quench – Press Release)
A Message from Vote or Quench
How to sum up Nigeria’s 2011 elections? Passion. Fear. Faith. Frustration. Relief. Disbelief. Excitement. Anger. Pride, Hope. It was one heck of an emotional rollercoaster.
We campaigned. We registered; we encouraged our friends to do the same. We spoke out against complacency, sang about the importance of our role. When April came, we went out and we voted, waited for results and protected our votes. Because, Nigeria’s silent majority was heard loud and clear, we held the freest and fairest election for the first time in our history of voting for more than two decades – no easy feat.
So now what?
Do we go back to sleep because everything is said and done? Give ourselves a big pat on the back? How about
we make a big push forward…
Life After Vote
The truth is our work has just started. We have to take our rights to the next level, by staying engaged, and making sure our politicians are keeping to their promises. We have to make sure that the best interest of our communities are being served. The political process didn’t end with INEC’s announcements. We can’t vote AND quench. There is Life After Vote…
Stay Informed: Knowledge is power. By staying current on what’s happening in your community, you can monitor your newly elected leaders’ progress. Have they built the school they said they would? What about the hospital? You voted for them, it’s their time to work for you. Check out sites like: 234Next.com, SaharaReporters.com, ThisDay.com, ThePunch.com.
Get involved: Who says only politicians have to do all the work? You have your own civic duties in your community. Nigeria needs a strong civil society to push the agenda and give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Find a youth organization, or community organization to get involved with and volunteer your time. Simply said, do something jare. Don’t be a weist!
Don‘t Stop Talking: Conversations create actions – let’s keep it going. Send in video blogs, blog posts, and commentary to VoteorQuench.org so that we can share your thoughts with the world. Also, it’d be a little rude to leave your friends and followers hanging on Twitter and Facebook. Let them know there’s #LifeAfterVote. Seriously, you never know who you could inspire.
Know Your Facts: Have you read the constitution? Do you know how a law gets passed? Does your local government have their policies easily available and accessible so their constituents can see their policies and plans for action? The reason some politicians are able to play us wayo is because we’re political mugus. Find out what laws are being passed through the National Assembly, and how it will affect you. It’s your right. It’ll also make you smarter.
Demand Attention: Are your leaders listening to you, do they know what affects you on a daily? Get in touch with your Governor’s/Senator’s office and let them know your grievances. A good number of states have websites where you can find the right contacts. If you can’t find them, tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org .We’ll try to track them down.
Know Your Local Government: Aso Rock might as well be on another planet for most of us. Our state and local leaders and their actions will affect our lives more than we can imagine. Your mother didn’t lie – Charity begins at home so find out what’s happening in your own little corner of Nigeria. If we all dealt with the issues in our own backyards, we could move Nigeria forward.
• Find out about and attend your local government meetings
• Know your local government officials
• Demand access to your local government, and get in touch with them.
Run for Office: Why not? We always complain about the lack of young people in office, here’s your chance to change that. Find a party that speaks to you, and start working now to run for local office. Get to know your community, find out what they need, and devise a feasible, and realistic plan to address their needs. Can’t find a political party that speaks to you? Form your own! Sounds crazy but it happens. Get like minded individuals like yourselves and consider creating your own political party. Obviously this takes work but you have 4 years until 2015 to make it happen. Think about it, 4 years ago, a Tea Party meant tea and biscuits. Crazier things have happened.