Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised Nigerian youths to exercise their franchise by participating fully in the 2023 general elections.
Jonathan said this at a ceremony in honour of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, to coincide with his 70th birthday in Abuja.
“I am particularly thrilled that Nigerian youths are participating in the political processes ahead of 2023 election.
“According to the latest figures from INEC, youths constitute the majority of the 96.2 million registered voters in the build-up to the next election. That is a good sign.
“My charge to all youths that have registered, ahead of the 2023 elections is to endeavour to walk their talk by making sure they come out to vote on election day.
“They should, by all means, resist the machinations of unscrupulous politicians who would wish to exploit them by luring them to commit acts of violence or disrupt the process of free and fair elections,” he said.
“Our recent experience with the heightened youth interest in politics shows how desirous they are of participating directly in the governance process.
“They now know better not to lend their youthful energy to unpatriotic acts, during elections.
“Obviously, many people, especially our youths are becoming increasingly disillusioned about Nigeria’s politics and democracy.
“Nigerians must remain on the democratic path as the only practical way of effectively managing its diversity, developing sustainably and recording progress as a nation.”
“The task before all of us is not to lower our guard, lest the democracy we cherish today succumbs to threats and recedes into fascism tomorrow.
“Towards this goal, we are again faced with a good opportunity of choosing our leaders as the nation prepares to go to the polls next year. Let us choose those that will take us to the desired destination and the promised land.”
Jonathan said that Nigeria may not be where its citizens wanted it to be at the moment, urging Nigerians not to lose hope of a great nation in the nearest future.
“Judging from where we are coming from since independence in 1960, we may have been moving slowly in our journey of nationhood, but it is a journey of progress, all the same.
“Our greatness is still work in progress because we have not been able to adequately deploy the enviable human and natural resources that God gave us, to full advantage.
“It is a task we will continue to work on and improve,” he said.