The political landscape of Nigeria in the last 50 years of Independence has been captured and held to ransom by godfathers, illiterates, ill-meaning politicians and a fraudulent Power drunk over-recycled group of people. The unimpressive performances of the “old brigade” political elite characterized by ostentatious show of shame in different administrations, has given rise to consistent ethnic, religious and Political crisis consistently, economic instability and massive youth unemployment.
Much as we clamour for change, the harsh reality is that we will have to select from the crop of people who have won the primaries on their different political party platforms, even in situations where unpopular choices have been imposed by party elders on the citizenry.
The Primaries in the Political parties which we consider the main election before the general election produced in different parties and some parts of the Country, candidates who do not enjoy the trust of their own people. The current Nigerian situation does not suggest that one Political party is better than the other in terms of ideology, internal democracy, sincere drive for change and an ardent and deep rooted interest to deliver substantial dividends of democracy to the generality of Nigerians.
Another major cankerworm is the issue of prolonged gerontocracy. Older people who may not seemingly understand the concerns of youth have emerged as the majority winners in the primaries and this poses a challenge of choosing the “best from the worst set”.
The only concrete way through which we can institutionalize credible, effective and impactful leadership is that youths have to be less confrontational, extremely mature and engage on a mass widespread campaign to drive awareness that will inform and enlighten Young people on their fundamental rights while we demand accountability from elected Office Holders at all Levels of Government.
The Youth of Nigeria form 55 percent of the Country”s population and should be able to influence decisions and be considered as a major force in the nation. For too long, they have been relegated to the background.
We discussed with very popular columnists to commit their Columns to discussing SHOWDOWN.
Names of these include;
SHOWDOWN provided a platform to address Socio-Economic, Political and Cultural issues and above all the ideologies, manifestoes and understanding of Youth related priorities of people contesting for elective positions was evaluated. Subjects in focus included Governance Climes in all the 6 geo-political zones of our Nation, NYSC, NANS, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Security of Lives and Property during and after the Elections.
This Parliament also extended to Senatorial, Gubernatorial and House of Reps Candidates. We implored Nigerian Youths in the Diaspora and friends of Nigeria in the International Community to participate in SHOWDOWN by all means, Necessary.
The Election calendar as released by INEC:National Assembly Elections – 2nd April
Presidential Elections – 9th April
Gubernatorial Elections – 16th April
The Guests on the show for each day were ordinary young Nigerians who are passionate about being part of the solution to Nigeria”s Problems and have a vast knowledge of on-goings in their States of origin.
We also used the show to ask for ideas from Youths across the Country on possible measures that we can employ to eliminate and prevent rigging in the forthcoming elections. They will be required to send us an email on this issue, specifically. Back Up: Leading Media Firms in Print supported the initiative and disseminated information shared on the show through their various media the following day after the each Episode. Specifically, daily reports were printed in The Sun and This Day Neswpapers.We circulated viral messages with the use of modern technology by SMS, Facebook, Twitter, You tube, Blackberry Messenger etc.
Plot and Structure The Program aired on Channels TV and was broadcast LIVE daily. The programme was not affiliated to any political party, group or individual.It is a RISE initiative hinged on advocacy beyond words to Action. Reach: All of Nigeria and the Nigerians in Diaspora via social multimedia including Blackberry messengers, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Blogs and streaming sites like www.risenetworks.org and www.channels.tv
Presenter: Chinedu Chidi, Winner, The Debaters 2010
Duration: 1 hour of 30 days; March 14th to April 22
SMS Poll: This ran Onscreen during the show. The poll took many hues from economic to political questions and we received thousands of SMS daily.