Nigerian youths have been charged to avoid selling their votes and also remain non-partisan as the nation heads to the polls in February.
The president, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Bello Bala Shagari, gave the charged on Tuesday in his New Year message to Nigerian youths.
He acknowledged that the youths have been able to revolutionize the Nigerian politics by standing together to ensure the passage of the #NotTooYoungtoRun bill which was initiated by YIAGA.
He also urged the youths to discourage vote buying but become advocates of free, fair and credible elections, adding that “the fate of the country lies with us and we will decide who leads our dear nation.”
The statement read: “I want to extend the compliments of the season to the over 100 million Nigerian Youth at home and in the Diaspora.
“In 2018, the Nigerian youth in collaboration with the ministry for youth and sports development has made a milestone achievement by conducting an election which brought about a new elected leadership of the youth council after many years of crises.
“In the same year, the Nigerian Youth have also been able to revolutionize the Nigerian politics by standing together to ensure the passage of the Not Too Young to Run bill which was initiated by YIAGA.
“A bill which has provided young Nigerians the opportunity of participating fully in the Nigerian politics. The signing of the bill in to law by our parliaments and the assent by President Muhammadu Buhari is commendable and memorable.
“Since coming into office, the new EXCO has brought about reformation and rebuilt the confidence of Nigerian youth groups in NYCN as their mother body.
“Credibility and integrity has been restored by our insistence to remain non partisan, consultative and committed to protecting and promoting the interest of Nigerian youths.
“I hereby solicit for the support and the solidarity of the entire nation and the Nigerian youth towards the fulfilment of our mission.
“While taking cognizance to some tragedies, I wish to congratulate the Nigerian youth for their achievements in 2018 and wish them a happy new year 2019.
“We are the testament of this great nation’s hope, strength and resilience. It rests upon our shoulders to ensure that the New Year is better than the last one.
“Especially that we are about to exercise our civic responsibility of voting in the leadership of our dear country. We must not allow ourselves to be used by politicians to cause mayhem during this sensitive period. We must also not sell our votes or encourage vote buying.
“Lastly, we must cast our votes wisely and remain the agents and advocates of free, fair and credible elections. Nigeria must continue to win and democracy must be sustained. The fate of the country lies with us and we will decide who leads our dear nation.”