Former President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, has urged young Nigerians to take ownership of the project to elect leaders that share their values, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In a luncheon to commemorate Independence Day in his Abuja home, Saraki emphasized that young people can determine the direction of the nation if they work together.
“Until young people like you take it upon yourselves to say ‘what kind of Governor do I want’; ‘what kind of Senator do I want,’; or ‘what kind of President do I want’, things will not change.
“If you take charge and ownership of this entire process, when you get the right type of President who has been voted in by you and knows that you have the numbers and capacity to vote him out, he will pick more young people like you when he picks his cabinet.
“At the end of the day, this is how it works as you go down the line. This is why you must take ownership of this process to show our generation that you are ready and serious about deciding the direction of Nigeria,” Saraki said.
Saraki also emphasized that young people need to mobilize amongst themselves.
“If you look at the numbers, they work in your favour. Even if you can register just half of the 18 million unregistered youth voters that are between 18 and 35, your voting bloc will decide everything,” Saraki said.
Saraki admitted that without the inclusion of electronic transmission of results in the electoral act, it will be difficult to effect change.
“I will be very honest with you. Without the electoral act, the system is too rigged against you. You are a young guy, you don’t have money or a network. Where are you going to start from?
“I think what needs to be done now is that we must participate.
“If we say we won’t come out because nothing will change …if we take that attitude, then they will win. Look at all over the world where there is a big change, people that made the change are people like you. If you are not registered to vote, nothing will change.
“If you make up the majority of the electorate even if they try to change the result, I know you will not agree because you know your right and the world will stand with you,” he added.
Saraki has been interacting with young people a lot more these days, amid rumours that he is mounting yet another presidential bid ahead of the 2023 vote.