By Solomon Asowata
#TrackNigeria: Musician and activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as “Charly Boy”, says Nigerian youths must do away with their docility and demand accountability from their leaders in the forthcoming General Elections.
Oputa made the assertion in an interview on the sidelines of a Town Hall Meeting on the Nigeria Social Contract, on Thursday in Lagos.
The event was organised by the Our Mumu Don Do Movement (OMDD) and Catalyst for Global Peace and Justice Initiative (CPJ), with the support of the Ford Foundation.
Oputa, who is the founder of OMDD, decried the current socio-economic situation of Nigeria, which according to him was due to lack of engagement between the masses and their leaders.
“A lot has gone wrong with the system as everybody can see, and most young people and the masses have found themselves in a very hopeless situation,” he said.
According to him, the rate of suicide among young people is worrisome and an indication that some of them see their situation as hopeless.
”It is unfortunate, but this is the reality on ground, and this reality is caused by the fact that we have been very docile.
“I always say that some Nigerians are arrogantly ignorant of their situation and what is happening,” he said.
The musician, who is fondly referred to as “Area Father”, said that the purpose of the gathering was to engage and interface with young Nigerians in order to galvanise them on their civic responsibilities.
“We need to educate people for them to know that they are the ones who own the government and that can make the desired change in the system,” he said.
On the 2019 elections, Oputa said Nigerians had difficult choices to make because the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had performed below expectations while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not an option due to its antecedents.
According to him, the alternatives have failed to get their acts together toward forming a broad coalition capable of challenging the old order of recycled politicians.
In his welcome remarks, the convener of CPJ, Mr Abraham Aiyedogbon, said the meeting was aimed at proffering solutions to some of the challenges plaguing the country.
Aiyedogbon noted that the absence of a social contract between the government and the masses had been largely responsible for the failure to deliver good governance by past and present administrations.
“The issue of social contract is so critical. I believe it is what has been lacking in the Nigerian narrative even before the amalgamation of the country.
“The Unitary Constitution of 1966, 1979 and 1999 Constitutions were all impositions without the input of the masses.
“Going forward, the people must be informed, empowered and awakened from their docility to demand accountable leadership,” he said.
On his part, Mr Paul Nwulu of the Ford Foundation urged Nigerians to vote right in 2019 to secure a better future for the country.
Nwulu said: “The strongest power that you have is your power to vote. You have to use that power wisely.
“Don’t vote based on ethnicity or religion, but vote for people that can move Nigeria forward.” (NAN)