Any avid follower of the Nigerian political climate and build-up towards the coming April General Elections would recognize the central role youths have been playing towards ensuring a hitch-free and fair transition.
Several youth-led empowerment and advocacy groups mobilized a high turnout for the Nigerian voters registration exercise in January 2011 through high-powered online campaigns such as the #IfNaijaVotes exercise on Facebook and Twitter. Members of these groups also volunteered to register co-citizens where there was shortage of official staff while the registration deadline loomed.
Vote or Quench, Enough is Enough Nigeria, Sleeves Up and Nigeria Leadership Initiative to mention a few of theses social advocacy groups, have not relented in engineering a peaceful revolution in Nigeria’s practice of democracy.
In latest developments, they are calling for the first-ever presidential youth centered debate in Nigeria. According to a press release by the What About Us team, the debate would focus on the key issues affecting a critical voting demographic. In Nigeria, youths (30 and below) represent 70% of the nation’s population.
The group said in a joint statement that, “”It is easy for politicians to promise change without having a clue about the realities Nigerian youth face every day. However, we know that their decisions now will largely determine our future so we want to know where they stand. This time around, we are engaged, aware and empowered, and believe that our vote should be earned and not expected,”
The date for this debate is March 25th at 7.00pm on Friday. It will be available as a virtual event where anyone in Nigeria and around the world can attend. More details on participating groups for the initiative can be found on the following pages, www.whataboutusnigeria.org or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/whataboutus.
As a Media Junkie, I have vested interest in monitoring how the Internet (Social Media) is being utilized to stimulate change in democratic culture, and measure its effectiveness as a tool. Do expect more posts along these lines in recent future.
Welcome to MARCH!