‘We’re no longer willing to accept anyone but the best to lead our country’. This was the strong message to politicians from 800 young people, women traders, grassroots associations and many others at The Osasu Show Symposium 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria in November.
ONE was there to urge young Nigerians to #VoteYourFuture.
The annual event, launched last year by Nigerian journalist Osasu Igbinedion, is a spin-off of Nigerian TV’s hugely popular ‘The Osasu Show’, in which she quizzes influential public figures about politics, business and development.
Stand-up if you’re the real deal
This years’ theme was Nigeria Rising! It’s Time: Establishing Social Accountability Between the Electorate & Leaders — a hot topic ahead of elections in February 2019.
Presidential candidates got the chance to outline their plans for Nigeria. And, amidst a friendly yet charged atmosphere, they were asked direct and challenging questions. Vague answers and half-truths were not ok and ‘sit-down, sit-down…’ chants rose from the enthralled crowds if candidates tried to side-step the questions.
Serah Makka-Ugbabe, ONE’s Nigeria Director, was a key speaker. In her opening remarks, she urged everyone to “vote based on the issues that matter and not on any religious, ethnic or political sentiments.” Getting straight to the heart of ONE’s #VoteYourFuture campaign which is mobilising young people to really understand the issues and make their votes count.
Throughout the day, people signed ONE’s Youth Declaration demanding that leaders invest in Nigeria’s youth. A message that should be listened to because, by 2030, half the population will be under 25 years old. Incredibly, by the end of the day, 427 people had signed the Declaration!
Young leaders — Samson Itodo, Head of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), and Hamzat Lawal, Founder Connected Development (CODE) — were also there to chip in key facts and make sure young people had a platform.
Passionate about civic engagement and good governance, Hamzat said, “People cannot take part in governance when they don’t have access to information necessary for engagement.”