2023: Young people want politicians to prioritize the SDGs in campaigns

A youth forum has urged politicians to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are prioritized when campaigning for the 2023 elections.

They made the SDG call and “Follow The Money Hangout” in Abuja on Saturday night. The event was part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of community mobilization for campaigns in Nigeria and nine other African countries.

Speaking at the event, Follow The Money (FTM) Founder Mallam Hamzat Lawal said it was important for Nigerians, especially the youth, to ensure that politicians engage in the implementation of the SDGs for national development.

“Today, a global SDG campaign called flip the script and FTM in all 10 African countries marked the day by mobilizing citizens to take action by holding government to account and bringing the SDGs to the grassroots.”

“There was a need to reverse the script in terms of how Nigeria and Africa were working towards achieving the SDGs because the current script was not working for Africa,” Lawal said.

According to him, it is because the current scenario does not guarantee justice, equity, gender equality, the fight against poverty and ensuring that people do not go to bed hungry.

He said: “The political atmosphere presents a unique opportunity to turn the tide, which is why our politician must ensure SDG is at the center of the conversation as we enter the campaign and the election.

“So turning the scenario around means that let’s mobilize more young people, let’s educate them and raise their awareness; let’s be more organized and not dwell on the last but use digital technology to change the narrative by taking our destiny into our own hands.

“We know that in a few weeks the campaigns will start in Nigeria so we take this opportunity to say that at the start of the campaign season, and in the spirit of turning the script around, we must ensure that the messages of campaign are issue-based, not sentiment-based.

“If you look at the goals of the SDGs, they literally talk about ending poverty, ending hunger, ensuring justice, fairness and equity, they talk about gender equality, education, health care, employment and sustainable growth, among others. So if our politicians actually use the SDGs to inform their manifesto, these are ideals that would solve our problems, but more importantly provide an opportunity for an emergent solution,” Lawal said.

For his part, the Curator of the Global Goals Community Center and Executive Director of the DEAN Initiative, Mr. Semiye Michael, said that Nigeria is lagging behind in achieving the SDGs, hence the need for deliberate action. in this regard.

According to him, recently new data has been released in the field of education, increasing the number of out-of-school children from 10 to 13 million and now the number is almost 20 million.

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