For young adults, Valentine’s Day is more drama than a love affair. It throws up all sorts of stories, from cheating to doubling dating, to trying to fix up all your boyfriends or girlfriends into your small calendar and it sure throws up a lot of suspicion.
Please don’t get me started on the gifts. When we were in the university, the gifts were the talking point. The ladies that got roses and perfumes will gloat and flaunt it, but for those who only got a card, an excuse must be made up for their boyfriends.
The day starts on a high for some people and ends on a low but there are others who have little expectation for day but end up having the time of life. The love affair aside, how exactly could Valentine’s Day after the general election in Nigeria.
Valentine’s Day often ends with a lot of heartbreaks and tales of cheating, so what does this mean for a potential voter? If a potential voter is caught up in the web of this craze, it surely could lead to voter apathy.
Let us say 10 or maybe 20 or it could go up to 100,000, given that, the young population in Nigeria accounts for over 50 per cent of our 200,000,000 population. If a high percentage of young people are heartbroken later today, what are the chances that they will be emotionally ready to vote on 16 February.
I do accept that some heal faster than others, but you must agree that there are many ladies, even guys who might require weeks to heal. At this point, they don’t care what is going on around them, and they certainly won’t care about the election.
Let’s assume that these 100,000 people caught up in Valentine’s Day craze are all eligible to vote, what are the chances that they will want to stand on a long queue to get accredited and to vote?
This automatically means that political parties will lose voters. What is Voter Apathy? Voter apathy or lack of interest is often cited as a cause of low turnout among eligible voters.
With our Presidential election coming up two days after Valentine’s Day, we must agree that it might influence the voting pattern of some young voters. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day but I must confess that I have seen friendships end because of this day.
Then there are those who will do anything for love. They probably live and work in Abuja and the love of their life is in Lagos, or Anambra, or Port Harcourt or anywhere else in the country, if they decide to travel to be with their loved ones, this would mean that they can’t vote where they are registered, unless they have carefully planned this love migration affair in advance.
The urge for a dinner tonight or tomorrow could lead to lose of votes, either due to last minute change in plans, venue or the after effects inerbriation some of which could lead to accidents, injuries or fatalities.
Then I have friends who have flown their wives to Dubai, to show their affection and love. How dare you judge them, when LOVE conquers all, they don’t have to take a pass from INEC or the government to express their love but their decision could have an impact on the outcome of the election.
It’s difficult to blame INEC for picking 16 February because it would have been more damaging if it had chosen a Premier League weekend instead. Football fans would rather watch those matches than vote, they would rather argue about Manchester City and Liverpool than queue for accreditation.
Whatever impact Valentine’s Day have got on this election, let’s hope it is minimal and measurable going into future elections.
Seun Bisuga is a journalist, PR and social media analyst