In Nigeria, some youth groups say candidates at all levels of government are not addressing issues of concern to young people. The ruling PDP and the opposition AC say they have programs that will improve the lives of young people if they get into power.
But the National Association of Nigerian Students [NANS] says the claim is a ploy to get the backing of more than 20 million young people registered to vote in next month’s elections.
Nigerian youths are tired of hearing the same empty political promises from all the parties, says Agbabiaka Ahmed, president of the Senate for NANS.
“Basically, from our own analysis and [what] we have seen so far, we cannot…draw any specific agenda, a blueprint, from [what] they have been saying. They all have been talking about the same thing. They are all looking for votes because it has been similar promise in the past.
The PDP-led government says it has done more for youth education, while the opposition Action Congress says it will fund more training and health [initiatives].
Agbabiaka says neither party is addressing issues important to young people.
“The top concerns are Job creation and employment.”
He says it’s of concern that thousands of youths who graduate every year have no jobs.
“It’s so sad that in the country right now we have serious issues [concerning] unemployment. Even the current standard of education is so poor and not progressing.
He says many young people become criminals and political thugs out of desperation.
“The youths in the past have never been part of the system. The leaders made it [according to] their own intention. There are not opportunities, there are no jobs. The only thing left for these youths is for them to be used as political thugs,” he says.