… as NYC says reforms, first step to sustaining Nigeria’s democracy
By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, the Special Assistant to the President on Youths and Students Affairs, Dr. Nasir Adhama, on Thursday, told political parties in Nigeria that sidelining the Nigerian youth would amount to destruction of democracy.
This is even as he called on youths across Nigeria to stand as major gatekeepers of Nigeria’s democracy.
Adhama, who was represented by the Technical Assistant to the Senior Special Assistant to Mr. The President, Dr. Aminu Isyaku, made this call during the 2022 Democracy Lecture, organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress, NYC, held at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja.
According to him, Nigerian youths need to be the gatekeepers of this democracy. We need to be the watchman of this election because at the end of the day, whatever outcome we have out of this election, we are going to be at the receiving end of it because, as youths in this country, naturally, we have a lot more time to spend than our leaders that are there today.
“So if we constitute ourselves as Watchmen, meaning that we will not allow ourselves to be used by politicians to perpetuate acts of violence in this election; meaning if we cannot sell our rights for a token amount of money, that politicians today are ready to spend;
“Meaning if we can be part of the process, yes, we may not be able to become president of Nigeria at this time but, if we participate in any meaningful way, in the electioneering process, it only means that we are taking the steps, one after the other”, he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the President, NYC, Mr. Blessing Akinlosotu, stated that one of the factors to ensure substantive democracy in Nigeria is through reforms.
He said: “Whereas experience teaches that the most critical moment for bad governments is the one which witnesses their first steps toward reform.
“The need therefore to take the steps needed for the reform of our dear country Nigeria necessitated the ideas to organize ourselves as young Nigerians, in a manner that will hold in view the mending of our impaired democratic system which has long since, thrown us to insecurity as a result of lack in the mutual ineligibility informed by the ethno insensibility.”
On his part, the Nigerian Youth Ambassador to the United States, UN, Raymond Edoh, cautioned the Nigerian youths to resist monetary advances from Politicians targeted at making them enablers of electoral violence.
“I want to make it clear to the students and even the youth all over this country that there is no distraction. There is no going back. What we want is to make sure we have a stable nation.
“Nigeria is a priority. Nigeria is our project, no matter what they do to frustrate the youths of this country to make sure we get involved or answerable to their big pockets at this point is not going to work. We are not going back and I want to assure the students and youths that we are on this together.”