The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone B, has said that it is the collective responsibility of eligible adults to defend the nation’s democracy.
Mr Joshua Onwe, NANS Zone B, External Affairs Director, made the call in an interview Wednesday in Abakaliki.
According to him, it is the citizens’ civic duty to participate in the political and electoral processes to choose credible and selfless leaders.
Onwe, a law student at Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki, noted that the failure of the eligible electorate to actively participate in the political process could lead to the emergence of bad and non-credible leaders.
He called on the people especially, youths, to be in the vanguard to enthrone sustainable democratic structures that would foster responsible and responsive leadership.
Onwe decried the political apathy among youths, stressing that their involvement in politics was needed to build strong and economically virile nation.
“Lack of active involvement in politics by qualified adult voters can pose a threat to our hard earned democracy and we must stand against it.
“It is, therefore, important that we all rise up in defence of the country’s democracy that is presently under threat due to the activities of anti-democratic forces.
“Some of our present political leaders at the various levels of governance manipulated their way into leadership positions because we failed to act responsibly during elections.
“Nigerian students are ready and determined to change this negative mindset because the bulk of Nigerian youths are students.”
He said that NANS would soon embark on a nationwide voter sensitisation campaign to sensitise, educate and mobilise Nigerian students to participate in the 2019 general elections.
“We have lined up chains of programmes aimed at mobilising students and other eligible citizens and one of such is voter sensitisation campaigns in our various campuses.
“We have over 44 million Nigerian students spread across different institutions of higher learning and we will ensure that no student is left out in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration.
“The voter card is the licence and authority to participate in the elections, hence, every of our member will register and collect the Permanent Voter Card (PVC).”
Onwe further maintained that no Nigerian student would be used as a political thug by politicians to thwart the will of the people through ballot box snatching or use them to commit other electoral malpractices.
He, therefore, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the people to be vigilant, to frustrate the negative devices of politicians who would resort to undemocratic means to grab power.