Frontline entrepreneur and economist, Atedo Peterside has called on Nigerian youths to use their numerical strength to take over the country’s political power in the next presidential election in 2023.
Peterside, the founder of Stanbic IBTC, who is also the Chairman of ANAP Foundation, was a guest on ARISE News and was reacting to the #EndSARS protests that have rocked Nigeria with young citizens calling for an end to police brutality and the brute force displayed by military officers at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday to disperse protesters.
Peterside also spoke on the widespread violence that has erupted in Lagos and other parts of the country that has led to the destruction of lives and properties.
“There is no force more powerful than the youths in Nigeria in terms of voting. They should become politically active and send some messages.
“Based on what happened, I came to the conclusion that the youths should plan to take their country back from 2023. I’m a democrat and I will not encourage anything that will subvert democracy.
“You voted for some people and you have to see it through. Start planning now for the next election. Don’t let anybody tell you it is too early.
“One powerful signal the youths can send is that they won’t support anybody who today is above the age of 60. If you all unite on that, I bet you, all the ambitious people who are below 60 will be struggling to curry favour from you.
“We are talking about the future of Nigeria and it is for the youths. So, if things happened that get the youths to be disenchanted nationwide, then we are in trouble.
“I think what happened on Tuesday can be turned around because it was the event of that day that made those who had no interest in politics to wake up. The best time to build a nation is when the youths who are in the majority have been awakened. The gentle giants move a nation forward.
“The youths themselves have learned some lessons from these incidents. You will be most effective when you link your demands with political activism. They should start getting their voter’s cards. Don’t wait for the last one month or two months because then your cards may fail to arrive,” he said.
By Abel Ejikeme