A leading university scholar, Dr. Anthony Egobueze, has charged Nigerian undergraduates to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to enable them participate actively in the 2023 general elections.
Dr. Egobueze gave the charge last Wednesday at the Amphitheatre of Rivers State University (RSU) Nkpolu, Port Harcourt during a reception for Year One students of National Association of History and International Diplomacy Students of RSU.
“As students who are 18 years and above I want to tell you that the first step for your participation in a democratic process is to get your PVC. I want to admonish you that the first responsibility you have is to get your PVC, you must get your PVC and exercise your franchise. If you don’t get your PVC you cannot take part in an electioneering process. When you sell your PVC you are robbing yourself of your future,” Egobueze asserted.
“When you have started selling votes at student level or at student union elections then what will you do at general elections in future?”
The university don pointed out that what happened at APC and PDP primary elections in Abuja FCT this year was a rape of democracy, saying that democracy is in chains.
“What happened at the 2022 PDP and APC primary elections in Abuja sometimes this year was a rape of democracy. The actions and conducts of politicians in recent time have shown that democracy has been held in chains. The bane of Nigeria today is the party system, which has produced mediocres and incompetent leaders.”
Dr. Egobueze stated that there are several ways to contribute in a democratic process and in decision-making such as lobbying, blogging and writing petition where and when the system is anachronistic.”
The political scientist also told them that they can also do a volunteer jobs for political parties in order to get their transportation fare, stressing on the need for them to make themselves available to participate.
“You need to make yourselves available when the political class are making efforts to reach the electorate. The whole exercise about democracy is about political participation. You must also know how to choose your leaders during elections.”
Dr. Egobueze stated that in the political circles and in the academic there is a new lexicon called Obicracy.
“There is a new trend or what I now called obicracy. Obicracy is a condition where you have a candidate who does not have a structure yet he is running for an election and he is also a top contender,” Egobueze opined.
He stated that Nigeria’s woes and underdevelopment should be attributed to public office holders and political buccaneers who have been stealing public funds from the 60s till date. “The political buccaneers and the elite are our problems in this country. They are those who are sitting in various public offices, stealing from our commonwealth. Most of the politicians have stolen from government. The money they claim to have was ill-gotten money.
He reminded the students that in political participation they must know how to choose their leaders wisely, adding that voting is the primary duty they have to know before and during election.
Also speaking, Prof. J. M. Jaja who spoke on the topic/theme: The Role of Historian/Diplomat in Nation Building, said that there were several roles and functions of a historian such as research and bridge-building, adding that a historian is a diplomat who looks at things and issues holistically.
“The historian is a diplomat and a professional. In modern era you cannot differentiate a historian from a diplomat. We train the historian or diplomat in such a way that he can handle data and dialogue.”
Prof. Jaja went further: “History does not end, that is why society exists. History is the science of life. Any society that neglects history has neglected existence. So, it is important that as a society we should not neglect history. In fact, history is aimed at bringing the knowledge of the past to the present generation.”
He explained that the knowledge of people with diverse history and culture can help people understand themselves and live peacefully.
On his part, the Head of department of History and International Diplomacy, Dr. Frank Amugo expressed delight at the relative peace on the campus of RSU, stressing on the need for the fresh students of the department to maintain the same peace on the campus.
“We thank God that the campus of RSU is relatively peaceful. Our campus is peaceful. Therefore, we advise that all the newly admitted or fresh students of our department should also ensure that the peace on our campus is maintained. They should also not involve themselves in anti-social behavior,” he said.
Dr. Amugo explained that diplomatic studies emanating from history means a historian must know and understand world affairs, pointing out that in the last 20 years most of the universities in Nigeria have found it more relevant to combine history and diplomatic studies hence, the influx of students studying history and international diplomacy.
The HOD told the students that in order to make good grades ad undergraduates students they must remain focused.
“I want to advise the fresh students of this department to be focused on their studies in order to achieve their goals. They should not spend their time with unprofitable engagement. They need to make good grade at least 2.2.”
He assured the students of the departments that the lecturers in the department would continue to ensure that they acquire knowledge as well as ensure that they graduate in record time.
- TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE IJAW NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC), PROFESSOR BENJAMIN OKABA, ON THE DESPICABLE ACTS OF LIFE-THREATENING POLITICAL VIOLENCE UNLEASHED IN IJAW LAND AMIDST CAMPAIGNS FOR THE 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS HELD AT THE IJAW HOUSE, YENAGOA, BAYELSA STATE, ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 4, 2023.
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