2023: There Is No Alternative to Participation, Get Your PVCs, CSOs Tells Nigerian Youths
- Civil societies have begun to intensify campaigns to sensitize Nigerian youths on the need to participate in the forthcoming elections
- YIAGA Africa has warned Nigerian youths that the forthcoming general election is critical to their future and only participation can be a major determinant for a better Nigeria
- The electoral monitoring organization described the outrageous price of political parties’ nomination forms for aspirants as an attempt to auction the leadership of Nigeria
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FCT, Abuja - In a build-up, to the 2023 general elections, civil society organizations have commenced sensitization programmes to keep citizens abreast of the need for a participatory electoral process.
Legit.ng reports that on Friday, April 29, civil society group, Yiaga Africa in collaboration with OXFAM Nigeria under the #RunToWinNG project staged a convergence of youths to sensitize them on the values of electoral and political participation.
The event featured talk sessions, video exhibitions, words of poetry, music, dance, and a host of others to further intimate youths on the need to register for their PVCs and participate in the forthcoming general election.
Speaking at the event, the director of programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu stated that the whole idea of the #RunToWin festival was to provide support to younger people to contest and win election and also inspire younger people to register and vote at the forthcoming election.
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"If we have young people using their numbers to register and vote, it also will support the emergence of youth candidate in elections. But if younger people stay away, its going to be difficult for young people who contest to win."
She added that the 2023 general election is critical to the future of Nigerian youths stating that bulk of the challenges experienced by the present day Nigeria largely affects the youths.
She stated that it is high time Nigerian youths grab the bull by the horns and wake up to reality and start participating in politics and elections.
2023 elections should be determined by young people - Yiaga Africa
"The next elections should be determined by young people, and if young people come out to vote we can change the outcome if we increase our turn out.
"We can no longer have a president elected by just 15million of voters when Nigeria is made up of over 200million people, even INEC has projected that we have almost 100million registered voters. If we get to that number by the next elections, we should target at least 70% turnout."
Similarly, the convener of We-Vote campaign, Obinna Osisiogu also stated that the youths exists as majority and it is high time they start taking advantage of their numbers.
Obinna said the vast majority of young people needs to wake up and take actions to navigate their own destiny and effect change for the greater good of Nigeria.
"A vast majority of young people have not woken up yet to take action and that is something we are hoping to change. These young people do not realize that election is actually a lever that we can actually pull to change things in this country.
"It won't happen at once, but incrementally with sustained pressure they will change things in the country."
Meanwhile, Cynthia Mbamalu while reacting to the outrageous price of the aspirants nomination forms of the APC and PDP stated that the decision by both political parties was unfortunate.
She described as an attempt to auction the leadership of Nigeria to the highest bidder and an attempt to sieve out the youths and people with capacity to contest.
She however noted that there are available alternatives that can be adopted to help solve the problem.
"When it comes to elections, if you build a strong social capital your people can still vote for you. There are people that have won in parties that does not have national prominence."
She further stated that there is an opportunity for electoral reform that will prove pivotal in checkmating the excesses of political parties.
Obinna in his opinion expressed his disappointment over the decision of the two apex political parties fixing their nomination forms at exorbitant rates.
He stated that the decision does not reflect the reality of Nigeria going by the current state of the country plagued with hunger and poverty.
Obinna in view thinks leaders who have emerged from a very expensive process like it is now will likely be corrupt.
"People who emerge from a process like this will likely steal money to recoup their money or be indebted to their godfathers and political forces they have to repay."
He however believes that the solution to combatting the oppression of the ruling political class is by youths leveraging on their numbers and also participating in politics.
2023: Only corrupt politicians can afford N100m for APC presidential nomination form - CISLAC
Similarly a recent report by Legit.ng, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) also greeted the exorbitant price of nomination forms with criticism.
Reacting to the fee, the executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani describes the decision as shameful.
The CISLAC boss who was not pleased with the decision accused the party of attempting to sieve out women, youths and well-meaning Nigerians from participating in politics.
SERAP, others blast National Assembly over life pension for key members
In another development, a coalition of civil society groups has kicked against the recommendations for a life pension for presiding officers of the National Assembly.
According to reports, the National Assembly's joint special ad-hoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution laid its report to both chambers on Wednesday, February 23.
The report by the committee contains 68 recommendations of which number 16 proposes a life pension for principal officers of the National Assembly.