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Planning big for 2019 polls



Planning big for 2019 polls

As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, women and youths in Abuja appear to be gearing up to participate in the election by coming out to cast their votes on election days. DEBORAH OCHENI reports


In the times past, many Nigerian women usually remained in door when important decision like electing the nation’s leaders were made. The youth, who are said to be the leaders of tomorrow were often used as thugs and agents of rigging the elections.
However, there are some indications that Nigerians might witness a different thing all together this time as women and youths appear fully ready to decide who gets into the various elective offices come 2019.
Inside Abuja beamed its searchlight on women and youths in some parts of Abuja to find out their readiness for 2019 election. Our findings showed that some of these people have spent days/weeks to be registered for voter’s card yet; they are not giving up until they get hold of the card.
While some said they would vote for the sake of fulfilling national civic responsibility, others just picked interest in election due to the failure of the current government in meeting the needs of the masses.
Rahmat Usman, 25, said she visited voter’s registration centre twice before she was successfully registered.
“I went to the voters registration centre in Karshi two times before I was able to do my registration but the whole effort is worth it. I want to participate in the next election and vote for the candidate of my choice. I want to vote for the candidate through which I was able to gain access into the treasury of the Federal Government. However, I was charged N200 by the registration official and when I inquired to know what the payment was for; I was told it’s used for fuelling of generator.
“Long story made short, I have succeeded in the registration and I am looking forward to getting my permanent voters card,” she said.
Friday Ajibo, 22, said it is the first time he is having interest in Nigeria election since he turned 18 and became an adult.
“I have never had interest in Nigerian politics and election since I became an adult like I did this time around. Politics is cool and I am ready for full participation come 2019, part of the preparation is what I am doing now.
“I visited voter’s registration centre in Army barracks, Kurudu, more than five times until I was told that INEC officials only came there on temporal basis and I was told that they are fully in Kershi and finally, I successfully registered for my Voter’s Card. This is the first time I am having interest in election and I must vote in the next election. I need to make my own choice of leadership,” he said.
Juliana Makoji, a woman in her early 50s said this present administration has taught her lessons she will not forget in a hurry and she regrets her lack of participation in the past years.
“I have made up my mind to vote against any leader that is selfish. The masses choose a leader that will serve them but, surprisingly, those leaders will forget them and concentrate on how to embezzle money for themselves and their families. I have borne enough of that and I want to say no to such style of governance this time around. God sparing my life, I must participate in the next election. I will vote rather than staying at home listening to results of election. I regret the years wasted in staying at home on election days” she said.
John Ode, a Nigerian youth said, voter’s education has enlightened many people on the need to participate in election. “Voter education took a different dimension this year and as such, made politics so interesting. I have got my voter’s card and it’s safely kept for elections. I have just come to the realization that you can be a true Christian and be a good politician.
“I want to tell the whole world that politics is not a dirty game and please, don’t allow anybody body to influence your choice of candidate, so that we can have a better Nigeria. The problem that we have in the time past is that believers don’t vote, hence others decide for us and we don’t have option than to accept whatever is been presented to up but it’s a different thing altogether this time around and I am happy,” he said.
Shedrach Omachi, in his early 30s said participating in elections is part of his civic responsibilities and refusing to participate in election would make him irresponsible.
“Electoral participation is a civic responsible of every Nigerian adult. That is why I am putting in place everything necessary for participation in the election. I have my PVC here with me and I am ready to vote because refusing to vote is an act of irresponsibility and I don’t want to be an irresponsible citizen,” he said.
Talatu Muhanmmed, a 54-year-old resident of Nyanya FCT said she has never failed to participate in election and the next one would not be an exception.
“I have never missed voting on election day and the next election will not be an exception. I will go out on election day and cast my vote. I am expected to have a say in national issues and that is why I must vote candidates of my choice although some of our politicians disappoint us a lot when they occupy they offices but that will not in any way stop me from performing my national responsibility,” she said.
Maryann Ahmed, a 25-year-old lady said she is ready to vote for the first time in 2019. She also prays that God should not allow her vote to be counted as waste. “I am 25 years old and 2019 election will be my first time of voting in elections. I earnestly look forward to the day and I also pray that God should allow my candidate to win the election, so that my first vote will not be counted as waste. I want a better Nigeria where youths will head the affairs of Nigeria with innovations. This idea of recycling old leaders is not helping the youth. This and many other are my reasons for participating in the next election. Thank God for the Not Too Young to Run bill that was recently passed. I look forward to having good number of youths vying for electoral positions,” she said.

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