2023: Nigerian young electorates' power to take back their future from the haggard old forefathers

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ELECTORATES' POWER - The youth are the "leaders of tomorrow," as we are often reminded. Tomorrow, however, never comes when it comes to their participation in governance and development. From one general election to another, the majority of the politicians elected or reelected into offices are recycled old politicians who have, over the years, had a strangled grip on governance in Nigeria.

This has led to the emergence of an unsustainable system in Nigeria in which most politicians in power are either old and feeble or are bedeviled by some sickness or disease that makes them incapable of living up to the demands of their electoral offices.

Politics As A Game of Numbers; The Right Numbers.

Presently, around 70% of Nigeria's population is under 30.

With that dominating number, you would assume that youth—young men and women in particular—in Nigeria should participate more in decision-making, given their significant role in the nation's demography. However, in all spheres of society, both are frequently underrepresented or excluded as partners.

Demographically, politicians only make up a number of the country's total population, even though many choose to bandy astronomical figures in a show of false political strength. It is obviously on this premise that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) once laid claim to being the largest political party in Africa, with the recently deceased Vincent Ogbulafor, one-time secretary of the PDP, claiming that the party would rule Nigeria for the next 60 years.

2023: Nigerian young electorates' power to take back their future from the haggard old forefathers
Election in Nigeria

There is substantial proof that the political parties in Nigeria frequently invent statistics. The fact that none of them claim to have an actual membership list has led to a lack of confidence among the public.

For instance, a group of the APC in Rivers State that backed Senator Magnus Abe claimed that the party's convention registration list was replete with the names of deceased persons back in March. She claims.

The controversy is nevertheless not as great as the obvious absurd figures that various parties frequently assert. The number of votes cast in a single party's primary election, when only members of that party could vote, considerably outnumbered the number of votes cast in the general election, which was open to all eligible voters, during the most recent governorship election in Anambra.

Where do our parties get anti-democratic figures from?

Political parties in Nigeria have a strong tendency to achieve political victories through wholly undemocratic machinations, including the unwholesome practice of manipulating figures to make it look like they have the numbers to determine their own political fate rather than the electorates; hence their penchant for lawlessness and impunity.

One can see from the outcomes of several election petitions that the ordinary Nigerian politician is more concerned with electoral triumph through the corruption of the election process than with fair and impartial election numbers.

This explains why many politicians have rejected empirical electoral systems like the electronic transmission of election results and continue to do so. They can be highly persuasive when expressing the negatives of using technology for elections, even though many see nothing wrong with embracing modern technology in all other facets of life.

Yes, politics is and will remain a game of who has the most numbers, not just in Nigeria but everywhere around the globe. But still, it isn't just a game of imagined or fabricated numbers meant to win victory through corruption; it is a game of the right numbers, numbers that real people, the electorates, determine through real votes that should count as in other true democracies rather than concocted figures that enable corrupt politicians to access the corridors of power.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, announced in early August at the close of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) that the exercise had seen a significant rise in the total number of registered voters from 84 million to 96.2 million, bringing the number of new registrations to 12.2 million voters.

A breakdown of INEC's reports also revealed that young people make up around 71% of the newly registered voters. Approximately 8.7 million of the 12.2 million newly registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 2.4 million are between the ages of 35 and 49. About 856 017 people are 50 to 69 years old, while 127 541 are above 70.

Additionally, the figures show more women than men registered during the most recent CVR. There are 6,224,866 women and 6,074,078 men.

With these numbers, the people, the Nigerian electorates, must realize that although politics is indeed a game of numbers, the real numbers - the numbers that should count - belong to them.

The young electorates must not allow the trickery politicians to fool them into giving up their future. Nigerian young electorates have the power to take back their country and future from the haggard old forefathers that currently halt progress.

The Nigerian people must ensure that the 2023 general elections are used to demonstrate, very definitely, that they have the numbers to determine their electoral fate and to redirect the course of governance in the country.

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