Nigerian students are among the most intelligent in the world. From Lagos to Owerri, from London to New York, the intellectual capacity of the young Nigerian is renowned. An analysis conducted by Rice University in the U.S. showed that Nigerian youths are the most educated of all migrants in the country. The institution credited the finding to a culture of relentless drive for education amongst Nigerians.
This Saturday, young Nigerians and students will be faced with task of selecting between a party that built 11 brand new universities from scratch in 3 years , sweeping millions of jambites into undergraduate programs and a party party that views youths and students as miscreants in the words of one of their leaders popularly known as “constituted authority”.
There are several reasons why young Nigerians and students who have reached the voting age should kick out the cattle herder who glorifies cattles over human lives and the law professor under whose watch Nigeria’s constitution is being raped with reckless abandon.
It takes a smart person to recognize incompetence, but only a man whose conscience is not snared can look beyond ethnic and religious sentiments to make an objective assessment. Here is why Nigerians youths and students should vote Atiku this Saturday:
1.The Extreme Hunger and Poverty In Our Hostels and Campuses
It is no news that life has become virtually unbearable for most Nigerians. Under the APC government of Buhari, the naira started competing with the Zimbabwean dollar for irrelevance as the prices of food stuffs soared.
The price of rice , garri and Indomie doubled, gala shrunk in size, while the salaries of most parents and sponsors remained stagnant or lost value. Many others became casualties of the job loss tsunami triggered by a medieval era economic policy known as Buharinomics which was described as the height of foolishness by the Financial Times of London.
The few parents and sponsors that managed to keep their jobs after the implementation of this policy could hardly support their wards because salaries were not paid. Under Buhari, we became the world headquarters for extreme hunger and poverty.
The good news here is that with an Atiku Presidency anchored on job creation and the opening up of the economy , joy and happiness is set to replace hunger and anger on our campuses. In the words of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria needs Atiku to make life more meaningful.( Nov 26. 2016 Daily Post)
2. The Inhuman Hike In school fees and Accommodation Charges
Despite renaging on virtually all their promises, the APC and its governors have inflicted untold hardship on Nigerian students. APC as a party is renowned for arbitrary hike in tuition fees and indiscriminate closure of schools when students protest such hikes. It took the intervention of ASUU and the upcoming elections for the Buhari administration to suspend the proposed increase in tuition fees to =N= 350,000. Voting for Buhari on saturday is an endorsement of the plan to increase the tuition of fee of public universities to between N350, 000 to N500, 000 per session.
On the other hand, here is what Buhari himself had to say about Atiku and education “Over the years, I have admired your courage and doggedness in defending your interests and your generosity in promoting education” ( Mohammadu Buhari Nov 24. 2016)
3. The Burden Of Transportation Cost On and Off Campus
Despite their pseudo promise that Nigerians will buy fuel for =N= 40 per liter , Nigerian students both on and off campuses have had to bear the brunt of high transport fares owing to the increase in the price of petroleum products by Buhari. High transport fares have also complicated life for students on Industrial training and catapulted cost of living for virtually everyone.
Unlike the current fraudulent subsidy regime being operated by the cabal, Atiku and Obi intend to clean up the system and provide affordable and easily accessible transportation system that would be fully integrated across the length and breadth of Nigeria making life much better for all Nigerians.
4. Nepotism & Employment Of Unqualified Lecturers.
Following the illegal sack of vice chacellors of Federal institutions by this regime, many federal universities which hitherto had a Nigerian outlook began wearing Northern look with the disengagement of non native lecturers and the employment of lecturers who can hardly express themselves in English teaching undergraduate students who knew better than them. With merit and intellectual capacity being slaughtered on the alter of nepotism,
the result was a catastrophic fall in the standard of education in the federal universities affected.
What will Atiku do differently? This is how Garba Shehu, Atiku’s former spokesman describes him “Even those who don’t like him say Atiku does not compromise on quality. He has a knack for identifying good staff. In line with this tradition, we hire only good hands. With Atiku, quality is always the number one issue”. ( Premium Times Dec .8.2013)
5. Destruction Of the Almajiri School Legacy
According to UNICEF, the North East alone has about 3 Million Almajiris. The PDP through President Goodluck Jonathan created a path that began the transformation and reformation of the Almajiri school system. This resulted in the construction of commissioning of about 200 Almajiri schools with library , mosque and Mallams quarters .
However, on November 17 , 2017 just two years into Buharis administration, The Daily Trust Newspaper reported that this laudable initiative of the PDP is now in ruins leaving an estimated 10 million Almajiri students wondering the streets of northern Nigeria with many becoming willing tools in the hands of extremists. This explains why Nigeria currently has 13.2 million out-of-school children about the highest in the world.
Atiku is a very compassionate person, unlike the malevolent fellow from Daura who does not care according to Amaechi, Atiku’s holistic plan for education will ensure that our out of school children return to school at the shortest possible time , his UBE credentials and his actions during the Anambara school closure saga by Mbadinuju speaks for itself.
6.The Reckless Abandonment of Kano Students Abroad
Buhari watched helplessly as Ganduje stuff millions of dollars into the Central bank located inside his baban riga yet refusing to pay the tuition fees of Kano state students sent abroad during Kwankwaso’ s era even though he was part and parcel of that government as deputy governor.
Why will a President allow his citizens to roam the streets of a foreign country begging for food, simply because he wants to send a message to a political foe?
Nigeria needs a students and youth friendly president like Atiku , one who understands young people and connects with their hopes and aspirations. Even when the Special Eagles where stranded, it was Atiku who came to their rescue and ensured our country was not disgraced.
7. Buharis Penchant For Demarketing Young Nigerians
The youths constitute a vast majority of the Nigerian students population. Despite their immense contribution to nation building, Buhari has used every available opportunity on the international stage to rubbish them in the eyes of the international community.
During a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Mr Buhari said most Nigerian youths in the UK are disposed to criminality despite the fact that young Nigerian students are among the top performing students throughout the United Kingdom.
Even though research has clearly shown that young Nigerians are the most educated, our president still went ahead to describe us as the most uneducated and lazy crop of people at the Commonwealth Business Forum in the United Kingdom, attended by Heads of State and Government of 53 nations.
In contrast, Atiku passionately believes in the young Nigerian, he has openly declared his willingness to nuture our entraprenural drive and support us to achieve our dreams.
Having tried an analogue president and witnessed it’s catastrophic consequence on a 21st century economy, it is time to elect a digital president
Having tried a cattle rearer with unproductive cows, it is time to elect a man that understands the demands of a global economy.
It is time to rescue Nigeria and Nigerians from the cabals by electing Atiku Abubakar as President so that our great country can start working again.
May God Himself Continue to Bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria
Dcn Oche Joseph Otorkpa
Member PDP Presidential Campaign Council