It is often said that the ballot is stronger than the bullet. In the 21st century, the most acceptable means of change and revolution in government is through the ballot box and not through the barrel of guns. Therefore, for us to enforce the change we want in our nation and society, the ballot paper and box are the fastest route.

The need to vote in the coming general election cannot be overemphasised. The country is sitting on a precipice. Boko Haram is constantly tormenting the people in the Northeast. Barrage of challenges beset the nation from every angle. Price of oil is plummeting in the international market and austerity measures are being effected by the government.

A cursory survey of the middle class in Nigeria shows that a large chunk of this group hardly votes during elections. They will rather sit in front of their television boxes “monitoring the situation of things” on Election Day rather than going out to the polls to cast their votes.

The middle class would rather resort to airing their views on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms rather than doing the needful by voting.

As the 2015 elections draw closer, why must you vote? Here are five reasons.

1. It is your civic responsibility

Having attained the statutory voting age, voting during elections is your civic responsibility that you must take very seriously. It is not enough to hold tight to your civic rights, you must be aware of your civic responsibilities as well. Voting is one of the biggest civic responsibilities bestowed on every citizen in a democratic world.

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2. Your vote counts

You voice is important. Your votes count. You need to step out and cast your vote. Voting is not an exclusive preserve of some people. Your vote can be used to cast a “vote of confidence” or “vote of no confidence” on any of your representatives. When your representative realises that your vote counts and that every voter is accounted for, he/she will be accountable to you (the voter). The representative will do the bidding of the people that elected him into office and not that of some individuals or groups with special interest.

3. One vote can make the difference

Democracy thrives on numbers. A vote can make all the difference in an election. Never underestimate the power of one vote in an election. One vote can make the difference between the winner and the loser. A vote can make a senator. A vote can make a governor. Indeed, a vote can make a president! You don’t want to see that the most qualified candidate lost by a low margin.

4. Vote to choose credible leaders

One of the things that unscrupulous politicians in our clime have working for them is the ability to gather the required number of voters during elections. They have a way of working themselves into the hearts of the most vulnerable in the society. Election Day is the day when a peasant and a professor have the same power. Therefore, to choose credible leaders to represent us, we must be a step further than the unscrupulous elements. We must vote and encourage others to vote so as to choose the right leaders.

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5. Your anger can be effectively channelled through the ballot

Your anger against the system can be felt effectively when you respond with your votes. Seething in anger endlessly will do your health no good. Go to the ballots and show how angry you are.