Young Nigerians have been asked to go beyond social media when it comes to holding people in positions of authority accountable.
The call was made by Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), when he spoke on the ‘Holding Government Accountable’ panel at the Social Media Week which held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He urged the youth to drop their devices and get more involved in national affairs.
Sowore, who is also the founder of the Citizen Journalism platform, Sahara Reporters, said: “I can tell you that nothing has worked as much as social media in Nigeria in terms of holding government accountable, because it is beyond their reach; it is accountability beyond borders. However, I have to say that it has its own downside to the extent that if you think social media has all the power and you don’t do what is necessary next, government starts to adjust to social media.
“So, you must move from revealing everything and holding them accountable, and for you to have the best result, you have to drop your devices and get on your feet. That was why social media was powerful in Egypt, but until the Egyptians dropped their devices, they couldn’t have the Arab Spring.”
Sowore called on young people to work hard by ensuring that they get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), vote and monitor the electoral process to ensure that there is an “Equitorial Spring” in Nigeria that will usher in a new era of politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He encouraged “a new generation of Nigerians who are children of democracy”.
“They are the secret to defeating the old brigade. The thing that happened with voters is a planned thing; they know there are 22 million students who are voters, and they had to keep you out of your schools, because they know that you are the angriest Nigerians and you are about to punish them with your votes. Regardless of what they have done to you, please find your way to your polling unit and vote these guys out,” he added.