Mary Beth Leonard, the USA ambassador to Nigeria, has exhorted Nigerian youngsters to elect trustworthy leaders in the general elections of 2023.
The USA envoy said the youth should vote for politicians who can deliver security and justice for the country at the 13th commencement ceremony of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, Adamawa State’s capital.
“It is you and your generation that holds the future of Nigeria in your hands as you become the most significant demographic in Nigerian elections, and you owe it to yourself and to your country to demand an elected leader who will govern and provide security, justice, and services for all Nigerians,” the ambassador said in her keynote address at the event. This is the 2023 call to action.”
One of the greatest difficulties in democratic systems, according to Leonard, is voter indifference.
As a result, she called for widespread and ongoing public education about the importance of using their voting rights.
The USA representative emphasized that leaders may be held accountable through voting.
“I see this in my own country all the time. I know it is easy to get discouraged and to doubt that your vote will make a difference, but again please remember that voting is your voice, it is only through voting that you can hold those for whom you vote accountable,” she said.
President of the University, Margee Ensign, also spoke at the ceremony, encouraging the graduating students to use the knowledge and experience they gained in the university to tackle societal problems and promote good governance in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s future, according to Ensign, is full of obstacles.
“Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing populations on earth. That means that in the not too distant future, Nigeria will be the third-largest country in the world after China and India.
“Nigeria is also a democracy in this world. Democracy is always under threat, tyrants and potential tyrants abound.
“So, despite its many natural and human resources, the future of Nigeria is a challenging one. Problems of poverty, violence, illiteracy, environmental degradation, unemployment, sustainability, good governance – all these and many other challenges loom.”