Former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu believes the #EndSARS protests which rocked the country in October 2020 is a sign that Nigerian youths have realized that the future of the nation is in their hands.
“First of all, it gives us hope that all hope is not lost,” the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.
“It tells us that our young people are finally coming to realize that the future belongs to them and they have to make a choice as to whether the posterity of Nigeria will belong to them or whether all they would do is to simply inherit our foreign debt.”
—Structural Politics —
Moghalu who contested the 2019 presidential election under the Young Progressive Party (YPP), also called on youths to embrace what he described as structural politics if they are to make an impact in the country’s political terrain.
He argued that that is the only way to translate the energy of the #EndSARS protests into political gains for the country.
“The way to go is to go into structural politics. That is to say, to join political parties, to be able to vote, to register and to vote and to be able to be voted for.”
—-‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ —
A critical part of making this happen, the 58-year-old explained, is the amendment of the country’s electoral laws which he described as low-hanging fruit in deepening Nigeria’s democratic system.
“That is so critical even as we fight or struggle for a new constitution. The immediate thing before us is the Electoral Amendment Act. It’s the low-hanging fruit because it will be completed within the next couple of months, hopefully, and we should insist that it provides a transparent process of electing our leaders where our votes count not just the people who count the vote,” Moghalu added.
“And I think this should be done through a system of electronic voting, electronic transmission of results.
“Anything that creates loopholes for election results to be manipulated, we must avoid it because that is part of what removes confidence from our democratic process and leaves a lot of citizens apathetic. Because they say, ‘Well, they would just rig the election, why should I bother?’ We must move away from this!”
—Protests Against Brutality—
The #EndSARS protests – which were largely driven by youths and against police brutality- rocked the country in October 2020.
Although the protests were largely peaceful at the onset, they were later hijacked by hoodlums leading to a looting spree and the destruction of properties in several parts of Nigeria.