BusinessDay

Leveraging technology to end Nigerian youths’ voter apathy

Getting Nigerian youths to start voting by phones will help to significantly reduce voting apathy this huge chunk of Nigeria’s population is known for. It will change the rules of competition, the rules of the game, the voting system and then unlock the future Nigerian youths’ desire.
There are about 61.3 million Nigerians aged between 19 and 35, yet they are totally underrepresented in government. This implies that 33percent of the federation’s population is not well represented in governance.
“If I were the youth, there’s only one thing I would campaign for going forward and until we get it, we are not going to stop. In 1966, a pivotal year in Nigeria, the ages of all the actors or those who have affected the country ranged from 29 years to 33years.
“So, how is it possible that this age range was ruling the country in 1966 but in the year 2020 onwards, we have people that are 70 years and above ruling the country? How is it going to work when there are no fresh ideas? So, we need to address that challenge.”
Leke Alder, a panelist, and founder of Alder Consulting, during a webinar hosted by AELEX Law firm on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, entitled ‘The Nigeria We Want, Economic, Political, and Social Justice.’
Democracy is a numbers game, and the youths have plenty of them; the problem is that they haven’t been strategically deployed. The implication is that it reduces massive election spending, frees people from political party tyranny, and allows people to vote in real elections without fear of political godfathers, crooks, and touts, or the results being tampered with, among other reasons for low political participation among youths.

Read also: Makinde charges PDP to address voter apathy, pay attention to youths, women
The Brand Strategist highlighted that Nigeria has a high telephony penetration rate of over 90%, and the people you send money in the village receive it by phone so the village people can vote by phone if they want. Even if they want to argue, why don’t you say let’s do test runs in Lagos, in Port Harcourt, in Enugu or any of the centers first and let’s see how this thing works and it will perfect the system.
Although anything that will take power away from the people and give to the youths, political office holders and law-makers will tell you it’s impossible, but during Big Brother Naija, the cumulative votes was around 170 million and that’s about the population of Nigeria isn’t it? The finals there were 33 million votes, which is more than enough to elect a president in the country.
Leke further spoke of the difficulty in implementation, pointing out that voting by phones can be hacked but the current system which is analogue is not spared.
He however, spoke about the possibility, saying that the technology is already available.
According to him, “Apple already has a technology you can link up to BVN and you have verification. We want live verification centers, we want to see live collation centers. Just imagine that you are voting and it’s like a twitter poll. You have seen the results in a live session and why can’t it be done?
“Change the system; if you want to compete against Goliaths, change the rules of the game, don’t throw javelin, don’t play sword like him because he is more experienced than you. Rather, use a string, stay far off, fire your sling and let it sink into the void that is the way to go.”

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