The European Union (EU) has urged Nigerian youths to influence the outcome of the 2023 elections by participating actively.
Winifred Achu, a representative of Samuela Isopi, EU ambassador to Nigeria, spoke on Tuesday at a policy dialogue, which took place in Abuja.
The dialogue, with the theme, ‘Youths Perspective for Building and Sustaining a Prosperous Nigeria’, was organised by the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT), Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) and Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programmes.
Speaking during the event, Achu said Nigerian youths constitute a large number of voters, adding that the much-talked about future is now.
“Now is the time for youths to influence the outcome of the 2023 elections for their benefits and their country at large,” Achu said.
“Today is the tomorrow our leaders have always spoken about, when they say the youths are the future of tomorrow.
“The timing for this dialogue could not have been better, as Nigeria prepares for 2023 general elections. We are at a critical point for young people in Nigeria.”
On his part, Yabagi Sani, chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said power is not given on a platter of gold, adding that Nigerian youths must earn involvement in the politics of decision making.
“Power isn’t given on a platter of gold. You have to work for it; you have to earn it. There is no free lunch. Nobody will give it to you. The grim statistics on poor participation cannot change unless youths change it,” Sani said.
“If you youths are mainstreamed in the politics of Nigeria, I’m sure the economy of Nigeria will be better than it is today, which is what is responsible for the huge unemployment population that we have.
“But all hope is not lost. We now have a new opportunity to change the scenario and they are very much aware of that; they are the largest population of the voting community.”