Abiodun OBA


The Federal Government has been accused of planning to install the continuity of unemployment, poverty, insecurity come 2023.

Mr. Femi Falana who disclosed the move  therefore  urged Nigerians to prevent its actualization by taking their political destiny in their hands.

According to him, this should be by registering to vote and stand by their votes during the general elections.

Falana disclosed that it is not enough to campaign for registration but insisted that there should be adequate education by all stakeholders on the type of information required of them.

Speaking during the unveiling of the Registration Portal of the “40 Million Ballots Movement”, initiated by Youths on the Street Initiative founded in 2017, Falana  said Nigerians must demand for credible elections and begin to campaign against elections malpractices and that those involved should duly prosecuted.

This is not era of “I have a political son or father”, Nigerians should demand for electoral voting from INEC because INEC has been duly empowered. Nigerians should demand for issue based campaign from aspirants because none of them is talking about the issues on ground.

“Since we have no other country, we must therefore vote wisely. Buhari has other countries, that is why he is going abroad for medical check up”, he said.

Joined with Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Ademola Abbas, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), Chief Emmanuel Ijewere, Prof. Remi Shonaya, Prof. Uma Eleazu, Mr. Gbenga Ajayi among other prominent Nigerians to unveil the Registration Portal of the “40Million Ballots Movement”, Falana insisted that there is not better time for this clarion call than now.

The “Movement”, is an emerging political force of 40 million voters, aimed to evolve into the long-awaited third force, which plans to wrestle power from the PDP and APC in 2023.

In his comments, Prof. Pat Utomi, commended the initiative saying, when people decide to be liberated, then, there will be liberation.

According to him, many professionals decided to fight the June 12, 1993 course and liberated the country from the military so that the civilians could be given a chance.

“We thought since the civilian rule has come, we will be liberated. But over 20 years after, the politicians have set us backward. We now felt that how could we liberate ourselves from these people, and a simple way was discovered; the ballot.

“When you stay in your room and read newspapers, the illiterates who would collect cheap money, who are few in number, would go out to vote for them.
“If only you would register, we will vote these people out.

“Unfortunately, the leaders too don’t even know the level of damage they are doing to themselves,” he said.
“We need more enlightened people and a new set of politicians. We need to democratically banish the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) permanently.

“I want to commend Iyere and those who started the initiative, I want to say that they would have my support. We have enough people registered people in the group. But we have to send a concrete message that we have come,” he said.

Also, Chief Emmanuel Ijewere, said that he aligned himself with what Utomi has said, adding that he has lived in Nigeria for over 70 years and saw it all.

“What we could not do yesterday, we can do today. Every eligible Nigerian should go out and vote. If you have registered before, go and check. Education also involves mental education like the experience we have had.

“Use your ballot to reverse your life, the 40 million votes is doable and make sure you play your role in a peaceful manner, we must register.

Dr. Muiz Banire, in his contributions, said that the youth constitutes 60% of the nation’s population and that it was a wake up call for their future.

Banire added that this was the last chance for the country and that if nothing was done the people would have themselves to blame.

“I want to associate with the initiative as it is more civilised. As you vote, you must be vigilant so that you are not rigged out. The presumption is that these 40 million people would be the informed class and we will educate the vulnerable, and then we will rejoice together as we rescue this country,” he said.

Prof. Ademola Abass, said in his contribution that Nigeria was in a critical time, saying that 60% of Lagos residents were youths.

Abass said that the same youths that would not go out to vote send out over one billion votes to a reality show.
He however, said that there were vast opportunities in Nigeria despite the challenges, wondering why the youth don’t go out to vote.

“They say politics is dangerous and they hand over the country to all sorts of people. We cannot abandon our country for them, we need to stay back and wrestle the country.

“I ran a campaign for former governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and I discovered that less than one million people out of the over 20 million people in the state vote and most of them are market women.

“The youths should go beyond Twitter and Facebook and go out to vote during elections.

Convener, Comrade Kennedy Iyere said that if everyone who should be part of the movement cooperates with the group, Nigeria would soon be a great nation.

According to him, “Nigerians have been misgoverned recklessly, we do not need to sit back and watch. Politicians are pursuing the tickets because they want to become the president.

“Nigerians have the supreme power, let’s go to the market.

“40 million ballots is a revolutionary way of claiming power from politicians who have oppressed us or else we will continue to have the people who have oppressed us for many years.”

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