BY UMAR YUSUF, YOLA
An Associate Professor of Political Science with the University of Abuja, Dr Mutiullah Olasupo, has charged Nigerian youths to emulate the collective virtues and nationalistic approach of the nation’s founding fathers as the build up to the 2019 general elections kicks off.
Dr Olasupo gave the charge in Yola while speaking at a three day workshop tagged (Young Political Party Leaders Academy) organized by the International Republian Institute IRI and supported by the United States Development Agency, USAID.
According to him, “when the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa were struggling for indeependence for Nigeria, they did not take the issue of ethnic, religion, section or any other thing into consideration. All they stood for collectively was for Nigeria to get independence. Therefore, youths in the country should try as much as possible to emulate the virtues of these founding fathers to chart a course for the country by ensuring that next year’s general elctions are hitch free, devoid of crisis” , he appealed.
He urged youths to make democracy work in the country by ensuring that thuggery, vote buying, snatching of ballot boxes, pre and post election violences were stopped forthwith.
Olasupo identified lack of empowerment as the major factor hindering youths’ participation in politics, advising that self empowerment was the only way to contribute meaningfully to the society stressing that this can only be realized by not relying on certificates.
In a paper titled “The Concept and Institutions of Democracy”, the political Scientist urged women and youths, to participate in key decision making, to strengthen democracy.
Earlier, Mr. Sentell Barnes, Resident Program Director, IRI, in his remark stressed the need for youths to imbibe the habit of volunteerism, to navigate the turbulent murky waters of politics in Nigeria.
The RPD, represented by Amina Yahaya ,Program Associate said implementing the Responsive Political Party Program, which seeks to increase political party’s responsiveness and representation, would better the polity in the state.
“We believe that parties are only responsive, when they understand and incorporate citizens priorities into their policy agendas and are representative when marginalized groups are integrated into their activities. The training would specifically train participants on basic research skills to support political parties in developing citizens-informed policy proposals”, she said
A participant at the training, Karuza John of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the workshop as timely, aimed at sanitizing the polity of peculiar challenges.
John assured that he would use the knowledge of the workshop to educate the other party supporters in the state.