BY OWODUNNI MOSOPEFOLUWA
With the preparation for 2019 elections in Nigeria in earnest, and ongoing campaigns by the political parties, it is quite alarming, the number of youths unwilling to vote.
This is in spite of the fact that one of the major duties of a citizen is to vote and be voted. The jingles and awareness creation activities towards 2019 elections are virtually everywhere, but the question on the lips is, where are the youths, especially youths between ages 18 to 22, which constitute the highest percentage of the population of Nigeria. One is left to wonder, the reason for the apathy on their part?
In an interview with Francis Ellen, a 18 year old, she said she does not have a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and she is not ready to get one.
Roseline Adefioye ,a 19 year old, said she had registered for PVC three years ago but she just getting message regarding it this year.
She however poses the question: “would the vote count”, adding: ”they already know who they would put there” , so why vote ? .
Ulasi Ada, a 21 year old, said she doesn’t have a PVC. She recounted the last she went for registration, that even with the stress queuing and waiting patiently, she couldn’t get one. However she said she would get it and vote if the government could make the process of getting it easier.
Awodipe David, a 19 year old, expressed pessimism in taking part in the process, for the sole reason that his vote may not count.
According to him, whether or not he votes, there would be no difference.
Olamide olatunji, a 20 year old , expressed unwillingness to undergo the stress of waiting at the polling booth.
According to her, the implication is that she might not be participating in the process come next year.
Ayomide Fadipe, a 22 year old, said the tension between the popular parties All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and their presidential candidates are not encouraging; that she fears violence at polling booths.
Jessica Kings, a 21 year old, said she doesn’t have a PVC and if she is able to get she would vote but she is not sure of her choice of candidate yet.
Emmanuel Anaba, a 19 year old, said the government of past had been so disappointing and he was not going to vote.
Odueme Gift, a 18 year old said she couldn’t get her PVC and even if she gets it she would not vote with these election tension, negativity and doubts. She said past governments were not impressive and that there are no new faces amongst those seeking the presidential tickets for 2019.
However, Udoma Mashaun, a 19 year old, said he has a PVC and he would vote because he is interested in Nigerians making a good choice this time.
John Nelson, an 18 year old, said he just clocked 18 this year and he would get his PVC if he is reassured that there would be no violence and rigging.
Catherine Amen, a 20 year old, said other presidential candidates apart from APC and PDP should be made known by the government and not create dilemma of the people choosing just between those two parties and if other candidates are publicised, she would vote.
On the other hand, some youths want to vote but they complain about the stress and suggest that the process be made easier
Some see the PVC as just a major requirement for carrying out transactions and registration in banks and other organisational organisations, while some do not want to participate in voting.
The above is a clear indication that certain shortcomings in the electoral process in the country need to be corrected.
For example the level of apathy on the side of the youths is a signal to the government to do more enlightenment campaigns for the youths who constitute a sizeable proportion of the potential voters in the upcoming election.