AN elder statesman and a Social Democratic Party, chieftain, Prof Jerry Gana, has urged the Nigerian youths not to mortgage their future by selling their votes in the forthcoming general election in exchange for mediocrity.
He made the call at the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES), with the theme ‘Celebrating God’s faithfulness’, where he was the Father of the Day.
Gana said reports of vote-buying in recent elections was an aberration and a shame that the youths who leaders of tomorrow should be involved in.
He told them to be resolute and ensure that they vote and that their votes count, saying “on no account would you sell your votes and your future for mediocrity.”
He noted that Nigeria belongs to the youths and with good leaders, there would be better policies and development leading to a transformed Nigeria.
He also urged leaders of NIFES to go beyond religion and transform it into profound spiritual impact.
He said: “In 2019, utilise your votes wisely to vote in men and women that are good and of honour, integrity, quality and capacity; people who can get things done.
“In this country, we need to have leaders who don’t only have a vision but have the capacity to translate the vision into their quality.
This is extremely important and we can do that through democracy by voting correctly. Don’t sell your votes.
“The old value system is changing. People now allow their votes to be bought. It’s a shame. It’s happening. People don’t care.
“If the older ones sold their votes because of money, we are appealing to the youths because Nigeria belongs to the youths. The youths have no other country but Nigeria. Vote for good leaders and believe me, once you have good leaders, good policies and development, Nigeria will be transformed.
“We need to transform our religion into strong spiritual impact so that we can be salt of the earth and light of the world. Medicine against darkness is light. Corruption can be wiped away if we have men and women of integrity.
“I want to assure you that we haven’t given up because we are talking to the Churches, Christians, good Muslims all over the country. If you don’t vote good people into office, you will have mediocre leaders and mediocre development,” he said.
Gana said he was glad that the fellowship has raised leaders that are committed, dedicated, honourable and could be called the role models of integrity.
He said: “They are all over in leadership positions and are giving the kind of service we are proud of. They have also raised leaders for other sectors. Some have been governors of states, ministers and have even gone international.”
National Director of NIFES, Mr Rex Onuh, in his address, said given the human and intellectual resources available with the Fellowship, and the experience garnered over 50 years of ministry, NIFES could be of tremendous help to government as a committed partner in combating some of the social ills presently plaguing campuses and the larger Nigerian society.
He added that NIFES was fully equipped to work alongside parents, government and other critical stakeholders in the driver for spiritual and social rebirth and the search for transformation in the tertiary education in Nigeria.