VIRTUALLY all Nigerian elections are marred with violence. Furthermore, due to election inconsistencies, many people are empathetic to pre-election and election activities. As a result of this, some people tell their partners or spouses not to engage in election activities that might put their lives in danger. On the other hand, such partners or spouses might be interested in the elections for the money or other reasons best known to them. This conflict of interest, if not properly managed, might result to friction or disagreement in a relationship. Thus, as a spouse, what would you not allow your partner do during election periods? And, how best would you handle any conflict that might result from it?
On WhatsApp Conversation, these are what those who joined the conversation and our expert said on the issue:
For a country like Nigeria where we have been clamouring for change in government, I would allow my partner to go and vote. If, as patriotic citizens, we do not take responsibility by exercising our franchise during elections, the so-called change we have been crying for would not come.
To be frank, this country is a big mess. If I had a choice, I would not let him vote. But it is everyone’s right to vote. So, I do not think it is right to prevent him from exercising his civic right. That is not to say that violence cannot or does not occur during elections. I did not partake as an ad-hoc staff in this election because of fear. I would let him see reasons as to why he should not. And if he does not listen, I do not care about any ill feeling. Allowing him to vote is even a lot. I think I can say I have tried enough by letting him vote.
If I have the power, I would not allow my husband to engage in anything that would put his life on the line. Government would not replace him once there is a problem. It is better safe than sorry. However, it would take understanding and prayer to change his mind if he is a political enthusiast. At the moment, election period is not safe.
I think, as a country, one of the problems that we face especially from February 23rd election is security. It was lacking. And, as such, if exercising your franchise could lead to your death, I would rather have my partner in bed with me. But, in doing this, I would state the obvious and make him understand through facts and figures, the harsh reality and after-effect of the election process.
I am not against anything political. My partner could do whatever she wants as long as it would not affect her negatively. I am quite open-minded to politics. I do not have an issue with that.
It is common sense that the area you live in determines, to a large extent, if casting your vote is a viable option. If it is safe, we would even go together to vote. But, if it is not and I am not going to vote, she is definitely not going to vote too. If I say she cannot go, she cannot go. If she disobeys me, it would not be an issue of she went to vote – it would be an issue of disrespect.
Deborah Eriba, a legal practitioner, is our expert on this issue. She noted that one of the things she herself would not allow her partner to be is a party agent. Also, given the circumstances of the country, she would not be glad to have her partner as an INEC ad hoc staff either. However, dealing with issue where your partner insists or has an interest for political activities, do not force, threaten or manipulate him/her. Rather, the simplest way of stating disagreement is by saying them. Although the will of my partner is inherently his, disagreeing on it should not raise dust. The consequences, if bad, would be dealt with as a couple. Maturity is actually needed.
Question from a reader:
My partner (in her thirties) wants me to leave my job (as an Okada rider) and my apartment (one room apartment) before she would accept to marry me (with an elaborate wedding). I explained my plans to her but she is still insisting on these requirements or she would not marry me. I am fed up. What should I do?
— Concerned Reader
Answer from my desk
Dear concerned reader, I would say you should be happy because this is a negative sign that should deter you from walking down the aisle with her. Marriage is life-long engagement. It is not easy correcting wrongs when in marriage. However, we should not be quick to judge that she is out of the venture before it starts. A question from my end is: Can your current income take care of the family’s need if you are allowed to continue your current job even when married? Another thing you should put in place is communication. Try to talk to her. Let her know your plans for the job and the apartment and how you tend to actualise your dreams, if possible, let her see that you both can achieve your dreams if you synergise your effort. On elaborate wedding, let her know that wedding is for a day and marriage is for a life-time. You should not incur debts while trying to have an elaborate wedding. Communication is vital. But, if she insists, I would advise you end the relationship. The right person for you would come.
Next week on WhatsApp Conversation, we would be treating: How would you react to your partner using birth control without your consent?
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