The Chairman of non-profit organisation, Anap Foundation, Atedo Peterside, has urged Nigerian youths to start mobilising to take over political power in 2023.
He was reacting to the #EndSARS protests against police brutality of the last two weeks and the gory event at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos as well as the widespread violence, arson and destruction of lives and properties in the country.
The former Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc condemned the attacks and condoled with the youths and the families of victims.
Peterside advised youths to use their numerical strength to get what they want legally. He cautioned the youths against divisive elements and urged them to be wary of thugs.
The 65-year-old, who spoke Friday, said, “We are talking about the future of Nigeria and it is for the youths. So, if things happened that get the youths to be disenchanted nationwide, then we are in trouble.
“I think what happened on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, can be turned around because it was the event of that day that made those who had no interest in politics to wake up.
“The best time to build a nation is when the youths who are in the majority, they are at least 60 to 65 per cent, have been awakened. The gentle giants move a nation forward.
“The youths themselves have learnt some lessons from these incidents. You will be most effective when you link your demands with political activism. They should start getting their voter’s cards. Don’t wait for the last one month or two months because then your cards may fail to arrive.
“There is no force more powerful than the youths in Nigeria in terms of voting. They should become politically active and send some messages.
“Based on what happened, I came to the conclusion that the youths should plan to take their country back from 2023. I’m a democrat and I will not encourage anything that will subvert democracy.
“You voted for some people and you have to see it through. Start planning now for the next election. Don’t let anybody tell you it is too early.
“One powerful signal the youths can send is that they won’t support anybody who today is above the age of 60. If you all unite on that, I bet you, all the ambitious people who are below 60 will be struggling to curry favour from you.
“When you send out that signal forcefully, they will obey you.”
Furthermore, Peterside criticized the speech of the President, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night.
According to him, the President should have made reference to all those who lost their lives and not handpicked cops who died on duty amid the civil unrest of the last few weeks.