As the 2023 general elections draw near with mounting concerns over the capability of INEC to deliver fair, credible and acceptable result, the Programmes Manager of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement, Africa (YIAGA Africa), Ibrahim Faruk, has said deliberative and participative democracy would get young people to participate more in politics and governance in the country.
He made the remark during a retreat held in Lagos on the Opportunities for Deliberative Democracy at the Local Level across the country.
Faruk, while addressing the Local Government and Citizens Representatives in Ikeja, Kosofe and Surulere, stated that YIAGA Africa is poised to improve the level of democratic participation amongst citizens in the country, hence, it aims at the youths since they are the majority in the country’s population.
He emphasised the need for people’s assembly, where citizens can be involved in the decision making of governance at the grassroots, thus identifying and solving minor issues in the society that might escalate into big problems.
Stating its importance, Faruk explained that deliberation will help increase legitimacy especially in the decision making process, thus ensuring better policies after decision making.
“The democratic trust of citizens is declining, mostly with young people and this leads to political apathy but when there are systems and frameworks for deliberation, trust is enhanced,” Faruk said.
Also at the event, Surulere LG Chairman, Sulaimon Yusuf advised YIAGA Africa to increase sensitisation among the youths in different local governments as this would help avoid money politics.
The chairman also disapproved of politicians who make fake promises, stating that it is better one is plain and straightforward from the start if one cannot meet a promise.
He admonished the private sector to work together with the local governments so as to help build a better society. “We must be careful with Political merchants who are bent at doing anything illegal and immoral to grab power, we must get involved in Political business as it affects every aspect of our collective life. We must not sell our conscience for a morsel of bread in coming elections, we must remember that any decision we take now goes a long way to shape our future,” he warned.