Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, a former President of the Nigerian Senate, has spoken about the enormous burden that young people face while contesting for elections in Nigeria.
Speaking at an independence day event with young people in Abuja, Saraki stated that any young person who wants to be competitive in Nigeria’s current political system, without the inclusion of the electronic transmission of results in the electoral act, faces a huge burden given the constraints of the current electoral system.
“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 network where are you going to start from?
“I think what needs to be done now is that we must participate. Let me explain further, on the day of election, if you look at the line of people that go out to vote… if the people coming out to vote are people we can give 100 naira, the election will not stand. This means we can manipulate. But if the 500 people lining up are people like you, election will hold.
“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 big change, people that made the change are people like you. If you are not registered to vote, nothing will change. It will be who we want to be Governor, Senator that will be.
“If you make up 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.
“I think the target now should be how to mobilize similar minds to hold their voters card and vote. If that is the kind of voters, then the result will hold. I promise, if those are not the kind of voters, then everyone will try to manipulate the result.
“Until those of you that matter take it upon yourself and ask what kind of Governor, president, Senator you want, nothing can change.
“When you get the right kind of Governor and he knows you have the power to vote him out, you will have the chance to come into government because you would have built a pact.
“The point now is, politicians don’t believe you can vote them out. If they believe you can vote them out, they will do the right things,” the former President of the Senate said.
Speaking on the End SARS campaign of October 2020, the former President of the Senate said that the campaign showed that young people can organize around issues that affect them, while urging them to organize around getting more of their demographic to register ahead of 2023.
“End SARS did not fail, it showed that the youth can participate and the best form of participation is through voting.
“I think the world is tired of the problem and dangers Nigeria could create. There are six million Nigerians that have the right to be in the UK.
“If Afghanistan was a problem then Nigeria is a bigger problem for the UK. Even for self interest, it is in the best interest for UK to work because of the exodus that will go into those places if it doesn’t,” Saraki said.
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