Three thousand young people from across Nigeria gathered in the capital Abuja in October to launch #VoteYourFuture and tell Nigerian leaders “we count.” And they’re going to prove it during presidential elections in February 2019 when they cast their votes.
#VoteYourFuture is about young people creating the future they want to see. It’s about making every vote count by understanding the issues that affect Nigeria. And, it’s about voting for a president based on their policies, not who they are.
There was a huge buzz around the event, packed with vibrant young people determined to hold their leaders to account.
Ntami Eborty, excited to be there said, “It’s not enough to complain about the issues in Nigeria. It’s also not enough to suggest possible solutions to our problems. Nigeria can’t save herself, we have to come together to save her.”
ONE’s Nigeria Director, Serah Makka-Ugbabe, kicked-off the campaign by addressing the crowd. She said, “You are the ones we have been waiting for to make Nigeria the nation of dreams.”
Presidential candidates answered questions from the crowd, and famous faces were there to give their support. Lawyer and media personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu hosted (fresh from hosting Nigeria’s Big Brother!), and was joined by singer Falz, comedian Peter Ogbufi (a.k.a Ghana Must Go), actress Bisola, singer Banky W, and journalist Laila Johnson-Salami.
Throughout the day, ONE Champions, incredible volunteers who support ONE’s work in Nigeria, gathered signatures on a 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!
The declaration outlines what matters most to young Nigerians. Unemployment comes top of the list – not a surprise when around a third of 15 – 35 year olds can’t get work or, can only find low-skilled jobs. Other important issues include ending corruption, improving healthcare, access to education, and investment in agriculture.
Banky W, told the crowds that the youth of Nigeria wield the power “to really influence and impact politics and leadership in Nigeria and must get involved by signing the declaration.”