The outlook of politics in Nigeria gives an impression of an engagement for individuals who are advanced in age. Participation of youths appears to be restricted to the grassroots and platforms offered by the media, particularly the social media. For most youths, the idea of active participation in politics is a negative subject. It is widely believed that politics is a dirty game, and as such, it interests only few among the youths.
Consequently, there seem to be a growing gap between politics and young people in Nigeria. The need to fill this increasing void is urgent, considering the importance of youths to the future of the nation. It is important for youths, to be properly represented in the nation’s politics. By increasing their participation, they can ensure that their interests is protected.
However, the youths have not realised how they could reorganize the political system with their collective power. It is important to know that youths 35 years and under are estimated to constitute about 70% of the population of the country. This implies that immense youthful participation could determine election outcomes in the country. More so that the population advantage affords youths with the opportunity to make leadership choices for the nation.
Although the population advantage has been there for a while, its potency to bring about credible leadership for Nigeria has been eroded by a number of factors. One of these factors is the low voting rate. This can be attributed to the declining faith of citizens in democratic institutions in the country. Some citizens refuse to participate because they believe elections for instance, would be rigged anyway. It is important to encourage young people and other eligible citizens to exercise their democratic rights without bias or manipulation but rather with the motive to bring about credible leadership in Nigeria.
Also, youths should be encouraged to sought to raise their level of political education, through reading, dialetics, discussions etc. It is important to understand the socio-political happenings in the milieu. It is also crucial to spread correct information on these topics, especially to those without assess to these information. This is to help counter propaganda and political chicane that are usually been used as tools by aspirants in the past.
Conclusively, there are so many issues which affect youths in Nigeria, we are only putting ourselves at a great disadvantage by not voting, and an even greater disadvantage by not voting right. With rising long term youth unemployment, security threats, economic woes, it is now is the time to make our voices heard as youths. The answers to the problems of Nigeria could just be buried somewhere amongst us youths.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets