OPINION: Why Nigerian Youths Support Buhari

OPINION: Why Nigerian Youths Support Buhari

As the elections closes in, opinion writers took to their pen to write on their views on the present political state of Nigeria. Legit.ng contributor on Electoral Issues, Adedayo Ademuwagun talks on “why Nigerian Youths support Buhari who is 72 years old”.

Goodluck Jonathan was a young graduate when Muhammadu Buhari was the head of state in 1984. Today, Buhari is 72 years old, and he's still running against Jonathan for president.

A lot of young people have been rooting for Buhari and his running mate Yemi Osinbajo for some time now. But why do these young people support Buhari so much despite his old age?

Many of these young Nigerians don't even really know Buhari. They hadn't been born when the general was in charge of the country in the early 80s, and most of what they know about the general is based on hearsay and conjecture.

Samuel is a young pharmacist. He says, "I don't really know much about him or his running mate, but I've learned a lot about him from my parents and other elders. My parents told me that when Buhari was in charge, things were better, there was discipline and the government really tried to change the society. But some people didn't like him. However, he performed well. So I believe he will do it again this time."

This election is effectively a horserace between President Jonathan and Buhari, and hardly anyone even knows who the rest of the candidates are. Therefore, young people who will vote this February essentially have to choose between Jonathan and Buhari.

One reason young people are lining up so staunchly behind Buhari is that Jonathan simply isn't as popular among young people as he used to be. Young Nigerians don't just want a change; many of them say they're desperate for a change.

Samuel says, "This is not about age or religion to me. At this point I intend to vote for anyone but Jonathan even if he's a hundred years old or a 'babalawo'. I just want change."

Many young people are like that. They believe Jonathan's government hasn't performed well enough to create jobs, improve education and create opportunities for young people. On the national level, they're frustrated by the way his government has been handling issues and many of them have simply concluded that things are not going to get better with Jonathan in charge.

Buhari and Osinbajo, on the other hand, have been making fancy promises to youths in order to win their votes. For instance, they say they want to create 720,000 jobs in one year and pay unemployed graduates a monthly sum. But they're not saying clearly how they'll achieve this. Actually, it looks like young people aren't even interested in listening to any long explanations. Most of them aren't asking the right questions. They're not examining the promises and testing to ascertain that these men are for real and will deliver. From the way it looks on social media, many young people just want change anyway.

Chuba tweeted, "The probability that things will get better with Jonathan in charge: zero. The probability that things will get better with Buhari in charge: unknown. I prefer unknown."

There are flaws in the APC's manifesto, but the party has superior media backing and runs a strong propaganda machinery on social media. Much of what people say in favour of the party on social media is actually propaganda directed to vilify the president and his party and make them look the worst way possible. By this, they're able to drown the president's positive works and pale his good sides.

This is worsened because of the President's sloppy media team, which doesn't do enough to promote the good works of the president but instead tries to outdo the opposition in counterattacks that often backfire. The opposition's propaganda is often very successful in that it contributes to ruining the president's image, especially on social media, and portrays him as incompetent and unfit while at the same time positioning their own candidates as the people who will come to clean things up and change the country. Perhaps this is not true, but it looks like things are working significantly in their favour.

Yar'adua was 56 when he became president in 2007, and there were already concerns about his frail health. However, he carried on anyway and unfortunately didn't finish his term before he passed on. And he was only 59 years old — 13 years younger than Buhari is right now.

The presidents of Malawi, Liberia, South Africa, Uganda and several other African countries are over 70 right now. Maybe Nigeria will join the list this year.

Recently, Ademuwagun talked about the most interesting points that every Nigerian should take note of ahead of the February 14 elections.

Source: Legit.ng

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