The Independent National Electoral Commission has just released timetable for the next general elections in Africa’s most populous country. Campaigns will officially commence in March 2018 for the 2019 Gubernatorial and Presidential make-or-break elections. Perception of war, strive, civil disobedience, industrial strikes and corruption is expected to reach unprecedented heights as political parties consolidate for prospects.
Since 1999, available records suggest less than ten percent (10%) of Nigeria’s population constitute the voters in various elections. It is on record that over seventy percent of Nigeria’s 180 million populations are young people. Official voters registration reports, military interventions, and polling trends clearly indicates that majority of Nigerians have never voted in their entire lives.
The 2015 elections have already demonstrated the primacy of youths in Nigeria’s direct voters’ process. As INEC intensifies efforts to mobilize unbanked citizens towards forthcoming elections, key agenda for all contenders will focus on issues of importance for young people. It is therefore important that expression be given to several laudable initiatives of well meaning Nigerians focused on mainstreaming diverse but germane issues reflecting the modern realities of living across the country.
The root of Nigeria’s governance failure lies in the inability of citizens to make informed electoral choices among competing candidates. Mainstreaming issues of concern through youthful advocates across channels is an important tool for promoting good choices. If the buzz being created by young people resonates across the land, a revolution in the nation’s electoral experience will be inevitable.