Social Critic and Rights Activist, Olusegun Awosanya, popularly known as Segalink, has said that Political awareness and participation has risen over the last few years and that the Youth are coming to make a Statement through their participation in the 2023 Election.
Mr Awosanya who spoke exclusively to TVC News Breakfast show said the ongoing Political awareness being witnessed among the Youth in the country is a process that will eventually lead to something great for Nigeria.
He added that the spike seen in the registration for the Permanent Voter Cards is a sign of the growing awareness among the Youth that they must participate in Politics to ensure they have a say in what happens to them in terms of Policies of government in Education and Other Sectors.
Segalink added that it gladdens his heart that the spike in the registration especially for those who fall under the Demographics of the definition of Youth cuts across almost evenly with over 8 Million new Youth registrants.
On what the spike represents for the outcome of the 2023 Elections, he said its an ongoing process and that no definite conclusion can be drawn on it giving copious example of what he says is the impact of Post-Modernism and its impact on behavioural pattern within the Society.
He added that this could be seen from the prism of several means through which views are expressed, he said seeing things from one perspective as is being posited with the outcome of the Osun and Ekiti States Governorship Elections could be misleading.
He said their is still time for the Political awareness to grow and have a telling impact on the outcome of the 2023 Election.
He also said the current Political awareness may not be unconnected with the current State of affairs in the Country especially for Youth who have been at home for months due to an industrial action by Lecturers.
He described the Political awareness as a tool through which the Youth can also influence more people to tow their line of thinking.
Read Excerpts of his interaction with Mike Okwoche and Sam Omatseye on Friday Morning below :
” If you hear most of the Youth speak, they will tell you that they want to use the spirit of the *endsars to apply ourselves and contribute to the political process by ensuring that the demands of the people, the youth which ha the highest number of population making up about 70% of Nigeria today, they want to have their voice heard and they want to do something about that, with that Political awareness has increased from 2015 till date because of the willingness of the youth to participate in political issues knowing how it has impacted them across the political strides and with that we are seeing more people getting involved and willing to pay the price and going through the hurdles of getting involved in that process but again apart from the numbers, you know in this clime we are used to the optics and the semantics other than the substance, I for one believe that the outcome is good in terms of more registration again but the most important thing to me as someone who is partly driving this force is the commitment to the finishing of that desire, secondly is the mindset, the why and how within that particular drive it is not just about we rising up in numbers to say we want to do something because when you want to look for the truth, you don’t count heads or numbers, it is not about the numbers, the reason, the rationale behind that drive, are we looking at participating in an election and taking critical decision that will actually bring about change or is it just for the optics of we are here we are a crowd, we are a mob and we are doing something regardless of the quality of what we are doing as against the quantity of people doing that particular thing, it takes more, there is still time for us to channel that energy towards the change that we love to see, for example the Youth saying we are using this election as a referendum on the powers that be that things will not continue to be the norm as usual, this is not about tearing down the institutions or tearing down things that are more or less cultural and more or less structures of the State that actually defines us as a people but it’s about showing our capability to use innovation, use our education to bring about the kind of change we hope to see so that the society will actually mirror us in the here and the now when compared to the comity of nations, so this is exactly my personal drive is all about and that is the mindset behind the *endsars advocacy itself which brought about Youth participation in Politics.
I get what you are trying to say but we must not underestimate that drive and this is why I say so, it is not just about the numbers, the influence, we live in a post mordernistic environment now, which means we are not actually seeing things the way they are on the surface, we are looking at the index, You don’t actually buy things now because you saw a billboard, you buy simply because of the influences around that particular product, if somebody you have trusted for over 20-30 years tells you this toothpaste is good, it makes you grow more teeth, you buy it because of the recommendation of the person you trust not because of the advert you saw or because of the billboard, when you are looking at the percentage that you seems small think of the influences of that percentage, think of the people who are dependent on these Youth for income, think of the people who are inspired by these people who are making this drive, they are going to influence a lot of people
Well the thing is this, when you look at it this way, like I said earlier, we are living in a post modernistic environment and to post modernism itself it is about the stimulation of the stimulation, in other words people prefer other than face reality and a spike to their bubbles like to see things through the eyes of Other people which is what happened before we became modernized where people go to concerts to watch movies, stage plays that talks about a society and culture they tend to look at paintings of famous artists that picture the world in a certain way and the same thing right now, people are trying to see the world because of the modernism now, because we have a lot of technology mainstream where different things can be seen through different perspectives so to be able to say this is actually the true position of things is always very difficult, because you have an explosion of means out there and for the Youth who are easily impressionable, who are easily influenced, they get to influence too, I will not underestimate anything, But I am saying that number you are seeing is like saying look at the size of a grenade in relation to the number of people here, if that grenade goes off we will all be impacted.
The issue is this, when you are looking at numbers or when you are studying human behaviour, the psychology of Nigerians, the reasons why you make decisions,, most of them are not rational, they are more or less influenced by some semantics, certainly by some socio-cultural events and the rest and we must not cast in stone what has happened before like APC has so so numbers, PDP has so so numbers.
I understand what you are saying what are the expectations from these numbers, I don’t have the specific figures but I have gone through the figures and I think it is evenly spread which is quite encouraging, all the zones have significant new entrants into the political participation that falls into the equation of the Youth, the regional spread does not speak to the decision people are going to make but again you understand that young people behave along the same pattern which is why we need,
The *endsars their was no dichotomy and it wasn’t a divide and for every decision, you have to trace the pathology of the outcome, the pathology of that decision which you called a dichotomy is just to show you the extent of what could have been done in the North and the South and also shows you the difference between the Traditional and Cultural training between the experiences of the people in both regions, the advocacy in the North actually went through institutional corridors between the Police and the structures itself, the experiences of people from both regions are different and so they reacted differently to the advocacy.
The fact they said don’t endsars does not mean they are not against Police Brutality.
You ask a very wonderful question and I will like to answer it from both the cultural perspective and the enlightened perspective and also where we are, this is a journey and cannot say because of the outcome of Ekiti or Osun that the drive that the Youth are talking about or drumming for or should be defined.
That is why I said this is a journey and you cannot judge the journey from the beginning, when you look at something called the holder loop, the holder loop speaks to the observation of what we have on ground, that is the collection of data and analytics of the data we have on ground and when you look at the orientation of that data, which speaks to framing the data in the context of trying as much as possible as much as we can from that data to be able to say this is what we have gathered and based on our education this what we have seen, based on our Knowledge this is what we have seen and based on our culture this is what we can decipher from there, then you now move to the decision making thing, the strategy and right now on the journey of the youth awareness they have shown that they are interested in participating and we are not going to see a poor turnout at the end of the day, they have collected their pvc’s now they are at the point on how they are going to or get involved participate, it is not just joining a political party, it is about the end goal, I will still go back to how *endsars ended up whether it’s the endsars advocacy you are talking about or the youth perception of their participation in it, I will tie the whole thing together, they are tidying things up, they have seen the outcome in Ekiti where people who participated in the election majorly went into a transaction, they sold their votes, because of the outcome of Ekiti and Osun, we cannot conclude to say these are just noise, there is still room we have months to go before the election to go, we have room to say we, for them to begin to recognize their intention and participation for these election to say we are focusing or competence, conscientiousness, we are focusing on capacity and besides beyond the presidential election we have to focus on those we are stampeding into the senate, the house of representatives, what I am saying is this is a journey, I will be the last person to write off the Youth of Nigeria.
I spoke about post modernism, it is a battle, what you are seeing now is a mirage of what is real, I will say something to the Youth of this nation, something that has been left idle for 70 years was fixed because of the participation of the youth, the Police Act, we now have Police At 2020.
That is why I used a model, a model designed to correct, you use that model by framing it, which means you need to observe, collect data, analyse that data, with your knowledge, orient that data by framing it with your education, your culture, knowledge, taking congnisance of culture and then being able to say this is how we are going to go about it by making a decision, picking a strategy, I believe they will be able to say this is the outcome of our participation to get the Nigeria of our dreams and that they have taken up the challenge thrown at us on TVC News.
I will not conclude now, I do not blame those who are doubtful but I think what we are seeing now is based on their experiences allowing it to get the better of them and I am sure when they realized that 2023 is critical to the challenges of nation building, they will align and move towards that, I will always stay involved I am a father ,I am a parent and a leader, so will stay involved because there is no place like Nigeria, something is missing that will need to be put in place, that is why nation like we say involves the wisdom of the old and the enthusiasm of the youth.”