VOTES counting would ordinarily mean that people are casting their votes with a certain wakefulness that informs their decisions. For politicians, votes counting would mean that adequate numbers of votes to ensure victory are in their favour.Nigerians should ensure their votes count on issues that are central to our survival as peoples, and a nation. If Nigerians do not approach the elections with circum-spection, 2015 would produce the same unsatisfying outcomes we have had since 1999.We complain without addressing our concerns. The lengthening complaints about politicians have more to do with the individuals than political parties. The quality of candidates is regrettably low.Across the parties, candidates who offer themselves for elections, and their supporters within the system, have cast methods that leave voters with minimal knowledge of candidates. We should vote for candidates with character and credentials, those have been willing to permit scrutiny of themselves.We have paid dearly for ignoring candidates since 1999. We would pay the same price again if we cast our votes without considering our past, present and future. Votes that count should produce strong voices, to represent the voiceless. We need candidates, who, when elected, would work for the common good. They are in the pack, we have to find them. These issues are important, whether we are electing the president, governors or legislators.It is important too that those we are electing would lead Nigeria out of economic gloom. Candidates we are electing should have clear milestones for assessing how they would re-direct Nigeria from further drifting. The glossy posters and promises are sometimes veneers for the emptiness of candidates. We should look beyond them. Nigerians’ dissatisfaction with our current political system stems from two points, the near total neglect of the welfare of the people and the aversion of public office holders to accountability. The joint impact results in frustrations with almost all governments throughout Nigeria.We can get out of this jam by voting out of a conviction that our choice, our voice, our vote would make a difference to the parlous state of Nigeria. We cannot vote out of fear. We cannot vote out of intimidation. Our choices have to be made freely.Candidates would be judged for their past, present and sketches of the future. They have sold themselves to a sceptical public. People want to vote on their perception of candidate’s stand on issues: major, minor.Most importantly, Nigerians want candidates to ensure a secure future for Nigerians, beyond current concerns. Voters’ choices that are based on capacities of candidates to work for the common good should supersede the primordial considerations that keep slipping into the campaigns.