Protests: Use your vote wisely, avoid violence, Mama Diaspora urges youths
A United Nations Eminent Peace Ambassador, Chief Amina Temitope Ajayi, a.k.a Mama Diaspora, has advised Nigerian youths to use their votes to create a Nigeria of their votes, instead of embarking on protests.
Her advice was sequel to the recent protest in some states where aggrieved youths burnt banks and some other public infrastructure to express their grievances and frustrations over the current naira crunch and the lingering scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS) otherwise called petrol or fuel.
Chief Ajayi, who was a distinguished delegate at the past 2014 Nigeria’s National Conference where she represented the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) in Nigeria and served in the Confab’s Committee on Agriculture urged Nigerian youths not to set Nigeria ablaze over the current naira crunch and petrol crisis.
She stated that instead of the youths engaging in violent protest and destroying public institutions and infrastructure, they should speak through their votes during the forthcoming general elections.
She noted that while many Nigerians are undergoing hardship, destroying and burning things as well as protests, which had turned violent, were not the solutions.
Speaking during a media briefing in Lagos on Friday, she warned that violence could lead to loss of human lives and property and scare foreign investors, adding that the cost of rebuilding destroyed property will be enormous given the prevailing global inflation.
Chief Ajayi, who also is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian American Agricultural Empowerment Program (NAAEP), said the youths should be provided with vocational training for useful engagement and life.
She called for national unity and warned against political violence, thuggery, intimidation and other anti-democratic indulgences.
Chief Ajayi said, “I am begging them (youth) to reckon that it is easier to destroy than to build. I do not want a repeat of EndSARS. I am appealing to them. They should calm down and stay focused because their voter’s card can change their destiny. They should forget about protests. With protest, foreign investors will run away from Nigeria. Now there is naira scarcity and the crisis of petrol. They should calm down. They should stay focused. We have less than two weeks to the election. We should use the remaining days before election day for prayers. We should beg God for forgiveness.
“As a mother, I have already been an advocate that they should involve them in the governance of this country. They should put them as ministers.
“It is easier to destroy but it is very hard to build. I know what I did during the EndSARS empowering over 600 people. I appeal to young adults, that in a political contest, there must be opposition. Opposition makes politics very interesting. I am advocating for them on the state level and how they can be absolved into the workforce. We are trying very hard to bring foreign investors into this country so that Nigeria can be turned to China. There should be booming commerce, white-collar job is no more. We are trying to provide them with vocational training so that they can be gainfully employed. I am begging them that breaking the banks, and burning things is not the solution.
“Their voter cards are the most important thing in their lives. In the United States, (US), it is not easy to become a citizen and when you become a citizen, you have the right to vote. It is a big deal. Let their voter cards talk. One vote can change this nation. So they should all forget about destruction and let us build this country. It is their country, they are the future. This election is going to hold by the special grace of God. For the first time, I am very happy for the engagement and the participation of the young adult. For the first time, I am happy for the engagement and participation of the elites of women.
“We have been crying that women are not given enough positions in the governance of this country because they do not vote. But see all of them now, are politically active. Now either one person is in one party or the other. We have fought the fight. We have run the race. Except the Lord builds the house, we are wasting our time. Why not let the Almighty God build the new Nigeria for us? This is the most interesting, historical election in the history of Nigeria as of today. The three major tribes are out. We must not forget that after this election, we are still one. A Yoruba man will buy things from an Igboman’s shop. A Hausa man or Fulani man will buy things from a Yorubaman’s shop. Igboman will buy something from the Hausa or Fulani. We can not do without eating meat or pepper. The same thing with the Yoruba. We are bonded. The spirit of our forefathers shall never go in vain.
“Nigeria will never turn to ashes. My children will never burn what has been built along the line. Those structures were built when the naira had value but today the value has fallen. Do you know how much a bag of cement is sold? Everybody should calm down. The youths must not turn Nigeria to ashes. Where will the money come from for them to rebuild that structure? This economic crunch is all over the world. It is not only in Nigeria. In America, you use $150 to fill your car tank. But you will never see an American destroy anything. If they can fill a tank of car for $150, do you know how much they buy food for? Inflation is all over the world,. Nobody is smiling again. Reality is kicking in. This cashless economy is hard but it is good. Now we will think before we spend a dime. Everybody will be focused.
“They (youth) should allow a peaceful environment to prevail before, during and after the election, Whatever the outcome of the election, let the will of the Lord be done. There must be a winner because all three major tribes are fighting for that presidential seat. The Almighty God is looking at us smiling. I have told the government that there should be three ministers for the youth. Minister of state and minister of youth, agric. Let us start engaging them in the governance of the country. Let us start making them feel important in governance because the world has gone digital. Let us start using their intellectual property. They will revamp this economy tremendously and with speed.”