It is not aimed at a violent change of government like what we have recently seen in the neighbouring African countries but, it will be earthshaking. It would be a compulsory retirement of a generation of gerontocrats or very old and recycled politicians Nigerian youths believe are wasteful, selfish and have held Nigeria and the promises it holds by the jugular. The revolution shall be through the ballot box and it has started.
The youths have realized that results of elections in Nigeria can no longer be changed at the collation centres! Rigging of 2023 elections is nearly impossible. All results will be transmitted from 176,846 polling units to INEC’s server and can be viewed by anyone from all over the world online real time. The implication is that the winner of the 2023 presidential elections shall be known by 7pm on the Election Day without waiting for INEC pronouncement.
Everything changed with the new electoral act recently signed into law by President Buhari few months ago. The law allows electronic transmission of results from the polling booths hence rendering political contractors, ballot box snatchers and result sheets manipulators useless. Also, the new rule that no one can vote if the accreditation machine does not read his or her PVC and that the number of votes cast must not be more than the number of voters accredited. To be accredited, the machine must either read the voter’s fingerprint or the face and nothing more.
You can now understand why the youths are rushing to get their PVC. They have learnt that they can determine who leads them. They no longer want those politicians who had lived out their own youths and are now determined to spend that of their children’s and grandchildren’s. Nigerian youths consist of 65% of the current population.
As at 2019, INEC had a total of 84,004,084 registered voters. Only 28,614,190 turned out to vote for president. Buhari won with 15,191,847 votes.
The worrying news to the political establishment is that there are more than 48 million Nigerian youths of voting age. And they are annoyingly trooping out to obtain their PVCs.
A political tsunami is about to happen as millions of youths jostling to get their PVCs have a different idea on who to vote for. They no longer listen to anyone neither do the majority of them believe in tribal marks. If they are not stopped, the results of the 2023 elections will shock the world.
I knew that with President Buhari’s signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill that the days of political principalities playing with the future of Nigerian youths are numbered.
The only option left for the owners of political structures here and there is sharing money at the polling booths as was done at their primaries elections. But the anger I see on the faces of these youths is so fierce; it seems as if it has been bottled up for so long waiting for a vent.
But, stop to think of this: what suddenly made the youths to get interested in voting? Could it be that one of the political parties has selected someone with the right message for them? Are the youths shifting from their abode in the social media to real life especially now their votes can count? We shall find out on February 25, 2023, the day of the presidential election. Curiously, many of the youths seem more interested in the presidential election.
The good news is that INEC has promised to register every Nigerian willing to vote.
A new Nigeria is possible.
Nigerians, this is the time to walk your talk, give life to your prayers and produce the president of your dream. We now have the power in our votes.
11 June 2022