The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has called on youths and students in the country to look beyond ethnic and religious sentiments while voting for political office-seekers in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The coordinator, NANS Zone F, South-East, Onya Ibeabuchi-Moses, a.k.a Aluta Apostle, made the call in an open letter addressed to Nigerian students and youths.
According to him, in resuscitating the dying fate and hope of the country, Nigerians must look beyond ethnic and religious considerations when electing their next president.
Ibeabuchi-Moses, therefore, urged Nigerians to take decisions on who can salvage the country, not just because he or she is Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, Gwari, Ibibio, Tiv, or Yoruba.
The letter reads: “As we all know 2023 is by the corner, and as far as I am concerned it is an important year for all Nigerians who desire a paradigm shift from the retrogressive status quo we have found ourselves into for a couple of dispensations now, to a new Nigeria full unlimited possibilities and hope.
“Our dear country has been plunged into some sordid realities, ranging from dreaded insecurity problems, unproductiveness of our economy, increase in poverty level, unbaiting crime rates, ethnic and religious crises, and sundry issues which are bordered on the fringe of mal-administration, just to mention but few.”
The NANS zonal coordinator described Nigeria as a sad tale filled with melancholy, retrogression and frustration, stressing that: “Fellow Nigerian youths and students, there is no gainsaying that we have never had it this bad in the successive history of our nation.
“It’s sad and patently unbearable. A couple of weeks back, there was a bloodbath in Owo, a notable town in Ondo State, where scores of helpless Christian worshipers were maimed and heinously killed by a group of gunmen inside the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo.
“There have been a myriad of abductions that had happened in the country in the last twelve months, especially that of road and train travelers.”
He, therefore, called on Nigerian youths and students to wake up from their slumber and go all out on election day to do what is necessary.
He added: “This is the power we have, a right that establishes what we want and the resolve that would change our country for good.
“They can buy delegate votes, but the truth remains that we are too big, articulate, ever conscious, dogged and currently enlightened by these businessmen in power, to buy.
“I’m therefore calling on our celebrities who are members of the youth population in this country to come on board and use their platforms to preach the message of hope, reawakening and voter education to their teeming fans and followers as this would go a long way to enable our youths do the right thing.
“I also advise we jettison party loyalty, and support and vote for candidates with proven track records and perceptible competencies.
“Furthermore, as we prepare within ourselves for this tsunami of change, we should also endevour to carry people around us along, our friends, relatives and community should also be enlightened on the need to join this revolution.
“In this revolution, we must look beyond ethnic and religious sentiments; we must take decisions as Nigerians who want Nigeria to succeed and not as Igbos, Fulanis, Gwaris, Ibibios, Tivs, or Yorubas, who want their own to be in power.
“Nigeria needs a leader with a pre-defined political ideology, and together we can do this. Let’s stand up and prove to the world that indeed Nigerians are ready for a better Nigeria.”