A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Ja’afaru Sa’ad, yesterday admonished Nigerians to participate in active politics, so that the issue of nation building can be actualized.
Sa’ad who said this when commemorating 19 years of sustaining democracy told newsmen that he wasn’t pleased by the low turnout of eligible voters during the elections.
He said “a larger per cent of the Nigerian population, particularly the youth do not participate in politics.
“Unfortunately, many do not have voter cards and even those with theirs do not usually vote during elections.
“Majority of Nigerians register to obtain the cards for one banking transaction and to serve as an identity when required.
“This level of political apathy allows few individuals to make decisions on behalf of the larger population and this only serves the interest of a few and their associates.
“Our democracy will not grow if we continue this way; we all have to participate in deciding the future of our nation so that we can all contribute to developing strong institutions for a better nation,” Sa’ad said.
He stressed that it was important for Nigerians to ensure that their voices count in all decisions taken by those in position of authority.
According to him, Nigerian democracy is growing but slowly.
“This is because few individuals have continued to dominate the political landscape while the larger population are indifferent.
“I call on the youth, the women and the vulnerable in the society to not only go out and get their voter cards, but participate fully by voting or contesting for political seats as the constitution permits.
“Our right to participate, express ourselves and join any legal association or a political party is enshrined in the constitution.
“It is therefore, a right not a privilege,” he said.
Sa’ad urged government at all tiers to ensure rule of law and embrace criticisms in good faith.