Voting is an essential element of democracy in any country and every legal adult citizen has a right to vote. As long as you are above the age of 18 are entitled to vote in federal and state elections. If this is the case, then why is there a surge in young people’s apathy in voting?
A lot of young people’s attitudes toward elections are that they don’t particularly like the proposed candidates, and for some others, it is if their candidate wins, they won’t do what they promised to do…or what they think they promised to do. These two reasons are why many young people have decided that their votes do not count.
Voter apathy is part of the general structural malaise in Nigeria and more young people need to get involved in the electoral process. We can make progress if more young people get involved in the political process, both in terms of running for office and voting during elections.
If you ever think that just one vote in a sea of millions cannot make much of a difference; one notable case in November 2000 was Bush vs Gore. Bush won Florida by 0.009 percent of the votes cast in the state or 537 votes. If 600 more pro-Gore voters had gone to the polls in Florida that November, there may have been an entirely different president from 2000 to 2008.
Basically, who wins an election sets the course of life at that given period of time. For example, this tenure dictates the policies on education, the quality of education, and the disbursement of funds for projects. It is alarming to know that if the head is wrong, every other part suffers. Children don’t have a say in the election process, they are dependent on adults to make decisions that impact or impale their lives.
Children need you to vote, to vote wisely.
If there is anything the pandemic and #EndSARS has taught us, is that there is an urgent need for people to participate in choosing political leaders who will serve the public’s interest and promote good governance. The human cost of bad governance is evident in the low level of basic infrastructure, educational system, high unemployment, and the number of out-of-school children, amongst others.
The first step to voting in your own interests is identifying and understanding your needs. Make a list of your priority issues and use your list to evaluate whether your concerns match up with the party or candidate’s stated priorities and future plans.
For the future to be better than the present, children need you to vote wisely. Remember, the effects of bad governance will catch up with everyone someday.