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2023 Election: What Should Nigeria Youths Be Doing Now?

January 12, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Tolu Okunade

Did you know? 

That the Independent National Electoral Commission will resume voter elections in the first quarter of 2021. It will be continuous for the next one and a half years and will run until at least six months to the general elections in 2023.

As it stands, the nation is on the brink of a new order. The electorates are tired of old and the youths (a huge percentage of the electorates) have and continue to channel their frustration against bad governance in the country. What the #EndSARS protests did was that it reignited a fire of patriotism and unity among Nigerians. Though it was successful, Nigerians faced another challenge yet. After these protests, what next? That’s the big question on everyone’s lips. What should the next generation be doing differently? Well, here are a few suggestions: 

  1. Form a New Political Party. 

If a Bucket list was to be drawn up for on the steps to build a better nation, this should top that list. The old political order is crumbling and a new one is emerging. But for a new to emerge, it has to be born. Why a new political party? Because it is free from encumbrances of the old order. Corruption, Election Violence, and Failed Promises rule the old. And that is exactly what has led Nigeria to where it is today. Remember, New wine should not be poured in an old wineskin. 

  1. Mass Sensitization.

The current Political Order has two major political players: The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In smaller circles, we have parties such as the Allied Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) that is popular in the eastern parts of the country. The signing of the Not Too Young to Run Bill in 2018 gave room for newer political parties to register and field candidates for elections. 

Did you know? 

That the total number of eligible parties fielded during the 2019 general elections were 91 and less than 5 percent of that figure won any seats in the Presidential, Governorship, House of Assembly, Senate, and House of Assembly Elections held in 2019. 

As it stands, if elections held in 2023 either APC or PDP will sweep all the seats available to be won. Why? This will be due to the low sensitization of new political movements among the youths. So once a new political order is formed, be loud as possible about it. Employ a Jehovah’s Witness Approach — go from house to house, telling people about this order and be ready to convince them. To build a nation of our dreams, we cannot afford to be bystanders. All hands have to be on deck. 

  1. Contest for smaller offices first. 

To be brutally honest, this should be the way to go. The reason why many of the newbies to the 2019 electrons failed was that they aimed too high. Do not get me wrong. I know motivational speakers must have told you that you should set your goals high.

So high that you aim for the moon so even if you fall, you’d land among the stars. Well, sorry to rain on your parade. This is reality and not some Disney movie. Reality and not a fairy tale. Political dynasties are built from the ground all the way to the top and not the other way round.

Real political power lies in the grassroots. Harness this and play grassroots politics. It would help boost your popularity. It would give you experience. Remember, only those faithful in small can handle the big ones when they come.

  1. Building bridges and fostering alliances. 

Build Bridges. Foster Alliances. To build a different Nigeria, we have to do things differently. In current Nigeria led by the elders, tribalism, nepotism and religious intolerance steals the spotlight. But if these protests have shown anything, it is that though tribe and religion matters, it doesn’t matter as much as we’ve been told. It was Christians, Muslims, Traditionalists, Atheists, Kanuri, Fulani, Yoruba Igbo, Itshekiri against one common enemy. 

A new nation would imply that even though such differences exist, it unites us than divide us. So, the best and brightest of our generation across all six geopolitical zones must be at the table. Every class of Nigerians must be amply represented, be given a voice, and be shown their opinions no matter how minute, matters. Politics is about Power Blocs. 

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