Focus on Credibility not Religion, Ethnicity – Kaduna Stakeholders Task Youths

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Stakeholders in Kaduna on Wednesday charged young people to focus more on the credibility of those running for political positions and look beyond religion and ethnicity in the selection of those they want to lead them in the next dispensation.

The stakeholders made up of Youth Groups, Political Actors and Activists, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Student Unions, Disability Community and the Media, gave the charge during a one-day Youth Policy Dialogue on Promoting Political Pluralism in Kaduna state organized by Organization for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) in collaboration with Democracy Drivers Network (DDN), supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Political pluralism is a philosophy which recognises and affirm the diversity within a political body, which is seen to permit the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions, and lifestyles.

According to them, the time has come for the youths to use their powers to cause change in the politics of the country without resorting to violence.

They noted that though most Nigerians are emotionally attached to their religion and ethnicity, but there is need for them to consider the credibility of those they are pushing for in positions of leadership, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity and political affiliation.

The noted that citizens should be allowed to chose their leaders, the ones they believe can help solve the myriads of challenges in the country, instead of the ones being imposed on them using religion and ethnicity, by the elites.

Speaking at the event, Executive Director of OCCEN, Abdulrazaq Alkali, said the essence of the program is to promote unity and tolerance among diverse Nigerian population.

“Political pluralism is talking about tolerance and unity and making sure that the political actors, be it the electorate and the people that are vying for political positions have an equal and fair playing ground.

“And we organise this event because we know that Nigeria is approaching 2023 elections and if you can see or you observed what is going on in the country, the level of polarization is too much and we need to start talking about political pluralism, people need to appreciate the political system in Nigeria, by design it promote pluralism in the society.

“A society that was built on diverse ethnic and religious group and so people needs to appreciate that and we have all the structure in place to promote these ideology of pluralism. We have multi-party system, we have different religions, we have different ethnic group and we have constitution that really talks about the unity in diversity.

“So we believe it is important to bring the young people here in Kaduna to discuss about these issues, so that they can be ambassadors of promoting political pluralism so that we can have unity and tolerance among electorates as we are approaching 2023 election.” He explained.

He therefore called on the youths to look out for credible people irrespective of religion and ethnicity, adding “there was never a time when a Muslim is president or a Christian is president, that he made the live of the Christian or the Muslims a better one.

“Don’t vote base on religions or culture or ethnic affiliation, look at the people that are credible and vote for them that is the only way this democracy can survive and that is the only way we can move out from this mess of insecurity, poverty and the rest. So Nigerians need to look beyond their culture and religious sentiments and focus on issues and look at the people who can deliver the country.”

On his part, Kaduna State Coordinator of DDN, Yusha’u Abubakar, noted that Nigeria being a multicultural and multi-religious country will be become better and make a lots of successes in global politics if the diversity of the country is well harnessed.

“A lots of issues that affects our democracy were discussed and people now understand what they need to do going forward that was we brought people from different background together so they can prepare themselves for the task of promoting unity and making Nigeria a better place.” Yusha’u, added.

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