Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, has expressed concern over what he described as lackadaisical attitude of some students to voting during election periods.
The commissioner made this known on Thursday while addressing a delegation of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, who paid him a courtesy visit at his Alausa office.
AbdulLateef, who said students constitute high proportion of voters, stated that majority of them do not vote during elections.
“It’s very disturbing to the heart that students who are supposed to be very active in election fail to exercise their constitutional duty when election period comes around. This is very bad because it will tell in the kind of leadership that we will have tomorrow,” he added.
He said, “From past elections, we discovered that about 90 per cent of the students don’t vote. They only complain. Complaining will not help any matter. Your situation will never change if you don’t show concern to governance, politics and particularly the electioneering processes.
“If this trend persists, you will continue to be complainants and petitioners. Seriously, it is not good to be petitioners and complainants. That won’t bring any development to our state.”
The commissioner also expressed displeasure that students don’t participate at the plenary session of the state House of Assembly.
He said students were meant to be attending the plenary sessions as observers to learn about the bills and laws that were being passed and general development about the governance of the state.
He asked students to prepare ahead of the 2019 general elections and ensure they actively participate in the voting process.
AbdulLateef, however, commended MSSN Lagos on its 104th Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) which ended last Monday.
He said he impressed that the secondary school pupils at the first phase of the camp were able to “adjust quickly.”
Meanwhile, the Amir (President), Dr. Saheed Ashafa, who led the delegation, said the courtesy visit was intended to present the programmes of MSSN Lagos and enable the executive members to familiarize with the commissioner.
Ashafa said ministry of home affairs has overtime promoted peaceful coexistence among organisations and people of diverse religions in the state.
He, however, called on Lagos State Government “to increase the capacities of schools in the state in order to help more children to have access to quality education in conducive school facilities.”
He also urged government to “synergize with all the stakeholders of public and private schools and provide adequate funding and facilities as at when due”.