The United States ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard has advised Nigerian youths to elect leaders who can provide security and justice for the Nigerian population.
Delivering the keynote address at the 13th Commencement Ceremony at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola at the weekend, the ambassador urged the Nigerian youths to make their voices heard by voting in the 2023 election.
She said, “It is you and your generation that has the future of Nigeria in your hands as you become the most significant demographic in Nigerian elections, and you owe it to yourself and to your country to demand an elected leader who will govern and provide security, justice, and services for all Nigerians. This is the call to action 2023.”
Beth, therefore, identified voter apathy as a major problem in democratic societies, calling for massive and continuous sensitization of citizens on the need for them to exercise their rights.
“I see this in my own country all the time, I know it is easy to get discouraged and to doubt that your vote will make a difference, but again please remember that voting is your voice, it is only through voting that you can hold those for whom you vote accountable,” she added.
President of the University, Dr Margee Ensign told the graduating students that the future of Nigeria would be a challenging one, urging them to deploy the knowledge and experience they acquired at the American styled university to solve the problems of poverty, violence, illiteracy, unemployment, environmental degradation and many other problems facing the country.
“Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing populations on earth. That means that in the not too distant future, Nigeria will be the third-largest country in the world after China and India. Nigeria is also a democracy and in this world. Democracy is always under threat, tyrants and potential tyrants abound.
“So the future of Nigeria, despite its many natural and human resources, the future here is a challenging one. Problems of poverty, violence, illiteracy, environmental degradation, unemployment, sustainability, good governance–all these and many other challenges loom”, Dr Ensign stated.