From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja
Disturbed over the spate of illegalities and irregularities in the Nigeria’s electoral system, government at all levels have been called upon to garner the needed political will capable of bringing to book political offenders in the country.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the North Central Town Hall Meeting tagged ‘the Nigerian Youth in Governance, Status and the Way Forward” organized by Grace 95.5FM Lokoja Kogi State recently.
The communique also emphasized the need for Nigerian youths to start leveraging on their voting capacity to be in governance.
Our correspondent reports that, the meeting had in attendance prominent personalities in the country which includes Mr. Ajuri Ngelale, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Affairs, Hon. Imani Odey , the Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Electronic Media. Mr. Kunle Lawal , the Rector Electoral College Nigeria, and Mary Jacob Okwuosa, National Coordinator Activist Nigeria and participants drawn from the youth constituencies across Nigeria.
The town hall meeting also had in attendance youth leaders and influencers across Nigeria who spoke based on their area of expertise.
It was gathered that the meeting was organized by Grace 95.5 FM Lokoja Kogi State, with the aim of stakeholders to have a discussion around the status and challenges of the Nigerian youth in governance.
Stakeholders at the meeting observed that the Nigerian political environment is saturated with too many factors that serve as hindrance to participation.
Such factors as itemized by participants includes monetization of the processes, inadequate/unfavorable law, lack of interest in development and governance, skills and politics, harmful political culture and lack of trust amongst the youths
Other problems mentioned includes lack of volunteering spirit and drive amongst the youth, inability to mobilize and organize themselves, fixation and political Illiteracy amongst the youths.
On the way out, it was resolved that, government should start the implementation of the law on electoral finances in Nigeria and also create an enabling political environment to allow for women participation in politics.
Youths were however charged to start building interest in vocations that will better place them for effective leadership.
According to the group, female youths must mobilize their voting numbers for their fellow woman as those aspiring for leadership should start from the rudimentary level.
It further stressed the need for youths to develop the mindset to run for offices to win and not for appointments adding that female youths should start working beyond affirmative action in politics.
“Female youths must live above political mobilizers and female campaign coordinators and aspire too. Youths should start leveraging on their voting capacity to be in governance.
“Youths should start sensitizing themselves on the need to shun money inducement during electioneering.
Youths should equip themselves intellectually to better ask questions on governance and participation” the communique concluded.