Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said Nigerian youths and some others do not participate in voting during elections because the political class has failed them.
He stressed that there was a connection between the performance of elective office holders and the high level of voter apathy in the country.
Makinde, who chaired one of the sessions at the retreat for newly-elected PDP officers, held in Abuja on Wednesday, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, urged the party to end voter apathy by mobilising women and youths who formed a critical part of the voting population
The governor held that elective office holders on the platform of the PDP must show that the party was ready to engender good governance at all levels.
He said that to address the issue of youth and women’s lack of interest in participation in politics, the party must deal with the issue of elective office holders breaching the trust and confidence of voters.
Makinde said, “The 2015 presidential election was won and lost with a voting population of less than 30 million. In 2019, the figures were similar – less than 30 million people voted. In both cases, the total number of registered voters was just below 85 million.
“From these numbers, we can clearly see that we have an election participation problem. First, those eligible to register are not registering to vote. Second, over 60 per cent of those who registered, shun the elections.
“So, looking towards 2023, one of the key issues that we need to address is voter apathy and we cannot effectively address youth participation in Nigerian politics and mobilising youth and women in Nigerian politics while ignoring the reason behind this apathy.
He continued, “If we are being honest, we will agree that the failure of the political class to make itself relevant to the voting population is mainly responsible for voter apathy. We over-promise and under-deliver and the citizens pay the price.
“We have a growing population of poor Nigerians and the growing feeling among the youths is that their only hope for economic stability is to leave the country. Why then should they be interested in voting?
“If politicians at all levels make an impact in people’s lives, then they will be more interested in who occupies these positions and who wins the elections.
“So, the solution really begins with us – those of us in this room who are occupying elective positions. What are we doing with the trust we have been given?”
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