From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The umbrella union of Nigerian youths, the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), has outlined a set of criteria that would guide the election of the country’s President in 2023, saying that Nigeria needs a unifier and peacemaker to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
NYU warned politicians, especially some state governors to tune down on divisive rhetorics that tend to leave the impression that the next general election is equal to a warfare between North and South.
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NYU National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, told journalists in Abuja, on Monday, that Nigerian youths would not take kindly with political leaders whose utterances are designed to divide rather than unite the country.
Obasi remarked that the determination of youths to get fully involved in the political activities leading to the emergence of new set of leaders in 2023 is predicated on the provision of a level play field to all segments of the society.
He regretted the utterances of some state governors in recent times which have continued to heat up the polity, saying that unless such negative impressions are curtailed, the 2023 general election may not produce pleasant outcomes.
Obasi reminded politicians that democracy emphasizes plurality of views, stressing that only in an atmosphere of understanding, patriotism and inclusion would the people feel free to exercise their franchise and enthrone patriotic leaders.
He said: “We have heard some high sounding rhetoric from some political leaders, especially state governors. The name-calling, threats and gloating about mischief capacity should not feature in our march to a better Nigeria.
“Nobody should think or behave in such a manner that suggests that he/she has monopoly of violence and mischief. Nigerian youths have resolved to be fully involved in the political activities leading to the 2023 general elections, and as such we expect leaders to act with utmost sense of responsibility and decorum.”
The former President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) recalled that NYU was formed as part of resolve by Nigerian youths to stop agonizing over the social ills in the country, but rather organize in a manner to engender socio-political change in the country.
He stated that the regrets and lessons from the 2020 #EndSARS protest should inspire well meaning young professionals to take active part of politics to change the ugly leadership narratives puling Nigeria down.
Obasi specifically urged the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to avoid anything that would further heat up the polity as they hold their National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, on Tuesday.
His words: “Having been out of power for eight years, PDP should be sober and behave themselves. Nobody should behave as if he owns the party. PDP should learn from what is happening in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and save Nigerians the trauma of political rascality.
“If the opposition is serious about taking over the reigns of power, it should look out for consensus builders, team players and nation builders instead of ethnic chauvinists and civilian dictators. PDP should be concerned more about what unites than what could divide the party of Nigerians.”