2019 Election: What Nigerian Youths Have Failed To Do
Nigeria News takes a look at the lack of interest in politics by most Nigerian youths and its implications.
By May 21, the Independent National Electoral Commission will begin to release Permanent Voters Cards to Nigerians who participated in the Continuous Voters Registration exercise in 2017.
Most adults have PVC but there are millions of voters’ cards that are lying fallow at the various zonal offices of INEC. Most of these belong to the youths of this country, an investigation revealed.
While I have refused to agree with President Muhammadu Buhari that a lot of Nigerian youths are lazy, I can easily infer that a large population of the youths are unexcited by the politics in the country.
They have refused to challenge the leadership status quo but would rather serve as an instrument in the hands of old politicians to manipulate elections.
The apathetic attitude of the youths to leadership and politics is a concern and if care is not taken, the old political elites will continue to impose their orders.
Unarguably, the youths have dominated the social media space with censures of the past and present leaders, there is the need for them to participate in the real election to choose credible leaders.
Millions of Nigerian youths were busier about two months ago when the Big Brother Naija was on. They devoted their time and money to the showbiz. The politicians know the time the youths are always busy. It is this time they spend to strategise on how to lure the youths into electioneering campaign.
In a few months, the noise about the 2019 general election will be louder. Political elites will come out to show some interests in Nigerian youths with baits in their hands.
The successive leaders have succeeded in killing the economy, rendering most youths jobless so that they could catch them cheap and use for their personal ambitions.
I have asked some of the youths in my area about their PVC. The report is unfavourable. Many of them had lost the card and refused to register. Those who registered before 2017 had refused to collect the PVC from their INEC.
Those who spoke to our correspondent preferred to serve as bouncers or guards to politicians during the election to voting.
“I have not voted before. I don’t have PVC. I’m 23 years old,” Toke, a graduate of the University of Lagos said.
To her, any youth that thinks he or she can break into the midst of these politicians may be risking his or her life. She said, “Gone were the days when youths were involved in Nigeria leadership. Today, everything is about money.”
But to a political economist, Professor Pat Utomi of the Pan African University, the youths must first get themselves involved in the vote, then climb the ladder of leadership.
He noted how he participated in Nigeria politics as youth corps and eventually became a member of President Shehu Shagari’s advisory committee at 26.
To him, many Nigerian youths can do that but they must be ready to register as a voter so that they will be eligible to be voted for.