As the preparation for the 2023 general elections begins to gather momentum, three governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday night worshipped at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Abuja.
PlatinumPost gathered that the visit to the popular Dunamis church – one of the largest churches in the Federal Capital Territory, by Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State was to seek divine support ahead of the 2023 elections as well as celebrate with the church on its 25th anniversary.
Governor Okowa in a post on his verified Facebook page on Thursday, confirmed the visit.
“Last night, alongside my brothers, the Governors of Akwa Ibom and Benue States, Edith and I joined Dr. Paul Enenche and the Dunamis International Gospel Center family to celebrate the 25th year of the Ministry.
” As Dr. Enenche and Dunamis continue to positively impact lives around the nation and the world through the word of our Almighty God, I pray that our Father in Heaven, through his Son, Jesus Christ, will continue to strengthen the leadership of this church.
“Congratulations on this noteworthy milestone!” Okowa said.
PlatinumPost reports that the PDP had on Wednesday organised a retreat for its newly elected national officials and other office holders aimed at working out plana to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress in the 2023 general elections.
The retreat attracted governors, lawmakers and other top chieftains of the party to Abuja.
Speaking at one of the sessions, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, urged the party to end voter apathy by mobilising women and youths, who represent critical segments of the voting population.
According to the governor, the PDP must address the issue of voter apathy ahead of the 2023 general election, as the results of the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections showed that less than 30 million voters participated in each of the elections, whereas, the number of registered voters was just below 85 million.
He stated, however, that in order to address the issue of youth and women participation in politics, the party must deal with the issue of elective office holders breaching the trust and confidence of voters.
He said: “I would like you to bear in mind, each time the speakers mention youth, that Nigeria has a population of about 78 million persons who fall between the ages of 16 and 40 and when they say women, we should be thinking in terms of about 100 million persons.
“So, in total, we are discussing a population of about 120 to 140million.
“I have decided to lead with this information because as politicians, we are interested in numbers. The 2015 presidential election was won and lost with a voting population of less than 30 million. In 2019, the figures were similar – less than 30 million people voted. In both cases, the total number of registered voters was just below 85 million.
“From these numbers, we can clearly see that we have an election participation problem. “First, those eligible to register are not registering to vote. “Second, over 60 per cent of those who register, shun the elections.
“So, looking towards 2023, one of the key issues that we need to address is voter apathy and we cannot effectively address youth participation in Nigerian politics and mobilising youth and women in Nigerian politics while ignoring the reason behind this apathy.
“If we are being honest, we will agree that the failure of the political class to make itself relevant to the voting population is chiefly responsible for voter apathy. We over-promise and under deliver and the citizens pay the price.
“We have a growing population of poor Nigerians and the growing feeling among the youths is that their only hope for economic stability is to leave the country. Why then should they be interested in voting?
“If politicians at all levels make an impact in people’s lives, then they will be more interested in who occupies these positions and who wins the elections.
“So, the solution really begins with us – those of us in this room who are occupying elective positions. What are we doing with the trust we have been given?
“I am hopeful that with this new dispensation, new party leadership, we will begin to take actions that will show Nigerians that the PDP, is different. We need the people to come out and vote, because as has been shown, elections are harder to rig when the people are interested and invested in the process.”
The governor added: “Let me leave you with this statistic. In September 2021, the Independent National Electoral Commission said that they had over 3 million new voter-registrations. Bringing the number of registered voters for the 2023 elections to just about 90 million. If women and youths alone are about 120 million, it tells us that we still have a lot of mobilising to do.
“I hope we see this as a wake-up call and begin now to do our part to end voter apathy.”