Stakeholders including professionals, civil society activists and pro-democracy activists have urged Nigerian youths to mobilise themselves ahead of the 2023 general elections by participating actively in the political process of the country.
This was the submission by panelists at the Democracy Day Fireside Chat held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre last Saturday to commemorate the 2021 Democracy Day with the theme: “This Thing Called Democracy”.
The event which was anchored by ace broadcaster, Sulaiman Aledeh, featured panelists which include anticorruption activist, Hamzat Lawal, a social entrepreneur, Abdulmumin Ajia, broadcast journalist, Sandra Ezekwesili, politician and freelance writer, Andrew Obuoforibo, civil rights activist, Idayat Hassan and women rights advocate, Cynthia Mbamalu.
Setting the tone for the discussion, the convener and the founder of the Advocacy for One Nigeria Initiative, Chief Kola Abiola admitted that though Nigeria’s democracy has come under serious scrutiny over the years, it was important for all stakeholders including the youth to contribute their quota in order to make it work.
Speaking on the theme, civil right activist, Cynthia Mbamalu noted that the concept of democracy appears to be a bit abstract and alien to people especially with the way it is being practiced in Nigeria.
Social entrepreneur, Abdulmumin Ajia stated that democracy has failed to achieve any meaningful results for Nigeria and Nigerians owing to the fact that past and current leadership across the country assumed power for selfish gains and not for altruistic purposes.
On his part, anti-corruption activist, Hamzat Lawal stressed that the concept of democracy as it is being practiced in Nigeria is nothing to write home about especially given what has happened since the return to democratic rule in 1999.