Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the last elections, Mr Peter Obi, has called for more youths’ participation in politics, saying it would bring a positive turn-around in Nigeria’s political system.
Speaking in an online event organized by the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria to mark the International Youth Day, Obi explained that a nation like Nigeria, whose about 70% of the population were of youthful age, was expected to have a high rate of youths’ participation in politics and governance. Obi said, however, the reverse was the case in Nigeria.
Obi attributed the low political participation of youths to lack of commitment and focus, on the part of the youths who were supposed to be at the fore front of policy making and governance in the country. He said that if the youths continued to wait for a special opportunity to be handed to them on a silver platter, then they would never achieve much. He advised the youths to set their priorities right and drive the positive change urgently needed in the political space of the country.
Obi recalled the past political heroes who fought for independence in different African countries. He said they all pulled off such feat in their youthful ages.
“When you talk about Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafewa Balewa and Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea and many others, you will discover they were all youths who fought against the colonial masters and gained independence for their respective countries. Nelson Mandela of South Africa joined ANC at the age of 25 as a youth leader and we all know the stories of his political exploits. None of them waited for any special opportunity with massive financial support. They simply followed their desire to free their countries from the shackles of the colonial masters and remained committed to it”, Obi said.
Citing “Not Too Young to Run” law as a great step towards achieving more political inclusion of youths in the country, Obi reminded them that contributing to nation building was everyone’s obligation and at such all must join hands to save Nigeria from the shackles of corruption, misappropriation of funds and insecurity.
“I commend all those who laboured to see that the Not-too-Young-to-Run law came into existence. I implore the youths to catch in on the provisions of the law and drive the positive change so badly needed in our country. Nigeria is ours to build, secure and develop and we must all contribute to make it home. Let the youths come into politics and governance and help save our country”, Obi submitted.