As the Virgin Islands enters the season of talk and promises, in another land far away and across the vast Atlantic, elections will take place this month.

In that other land — Nigeria, West Africa — the voters never have it right. Why? Because there is never at any election serious discourse on policy nor vision, but a perverse delight in theatrics and the political circus with clowns, jesters and jugglers at the helm of antics termed campaigns and elections.

Today, Nigeria’s toxic political culture has turned the country into a failed state. The Virgin Islands would do well to learn lessons from that land.

A general election is serious business. The quest at an election is for power, and that is power to be used bottom up and not top down. Power — the ability to enforce change — is the chief resource of the politician. It should be used to advance the mass of people and not one section of the elite.

Consequently, the task of the voters is to observe the choices they have in front of them.


The ‘honesty test’

This observer recommends that voters apply the honesty test. Is the candidate honest? Do honest people advise them? Does the politician possess a clear vision of where they want to take the society? Does their past speak for or against them?

Get it right and the voter and wider society prospers in safety and harmony. Get it wrong and we will all be whining and complaining for another four years.


Connect with Mr. Igwe on Facebook and Twitter.