America’s Election: Matter arising for Nigerian Youths – by @lanreneville
‘The rants, facebook comments (on GEJ wall), twitter mention or follows isn’t enough to bring change or get a good leader elected but registering and voting’.
The just concluded election in the United State of America that re-elect the incumbent President; Barack Obama, is a lesson to Nigerians… In as much as I understand that most of the lessons are for our leaders, I decided to highlight that which affects the neglected Nigerian Youths; the jobless youths after spending many years in the University, one year mandatory National Service program for qualified school leavers.
Do we deserve that?
I remember my neighbour Alhaji Abdulai from Kwara state who travelled with his family during Voters’ registration exercise conducted by INEC prior to 2011 general election in Nigeria, they also travelled few days to the elections which produced Nigeria’s Legislator and returned after the gubernatorial election. I asked Alhaji why he had to travel for electioneering processes when he could do that in Lagos, his response was awesome, he told me about the neglect in their village and how they planned to make change, not just change but a change that will bring positive change to their community, so they mobilised their families to fight for the future of their children. I was overwhelmed because they need change and they stood for it, for over a month they abandoned their businesses and travelled the death trap roads to fight for their future? That’s patriotism. But back here in Lagos on election day, many youths that even registered refused to vote, they stayed back at home, drinking and listening to music, some were playing football on the streets while others were watching movies. I remember a girl-friend spending those election weekends in her lover’s house while the elderly decided OUR future for us, yes OUR future, a future they won’t be part of while youths are scattered around doing the needless as their future is been mortgaged because of neglect of their rights and social responsibilities.
Those that sleep on their rights can’t be protected, how many Nigerian Youths are familiar with the manifestos or programs of Candidates participating in an election? We could download Music or Porn on the internet but we won’t dare download Manifestos which are road maps to our future in an election. We don’t attend Town Hall meetings that have candidates in attendance but we visit clubs every friday night. We rant daily that Government ain’t providing jobs but I asked if we had shown the government it is compulsory they provide jobs for Us and have we been able to interpret the consequences to them; had we been able to show the Government how important youths are during electioneering process? Have we been able to show them that 70% of registered voters are youths? Have we been able to show this unrepentant corrupt leaders that Youths can determine who become the next President? No, we haven’t, because we don’t vote and voters’ apathy give rooms for manipulation, such we noticed in South Eastern part of the country in 2011 Presidential election where 97% of the registered voters are said to have voted. We ought to decide but we excluded ourselves from our civic responsibilities. The class that doesn’t vote can’t be protected. If our votes count, our welfare will be the priority of Nigerian Government.
The rants, facebook comments (on GEJ wall), twitter mention or follows isn’t enough to bring change or get a good leader elected but registering and voting. Use your votes to show your strength and frustration to that political party or candidate that has neglected you or their duties like the Americans did on Tuesday 6th of November 2012 and do not forget to protect that vote.
Use your blackberry, Android, Tablet, Ipad e.t.c to educate yourself, not for setting P, viewing Pornography contents. Get registered for 2015 elections, protect your votes and don’t just vote, but vote candidates whose manifestos promise a rewarding and blossom future. Check their antecedents.
A new Nigeria is here and it begin with you and me
You can engage me on twitter: @lanreneville