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‘Why youths must lead movement for accountability’ 

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
12 October 2021   |   3:21 am
Youths can use the power of their number to mobilise the country to demand accountability from their political leaders, Executive Director, Citizens Common, Olelekan Oshunkoya, has said.

Youths can use the power of their number to mobilise the country to demand accountability from their political leaders, Executive Director, Citizens Common, Olelekan Oshunkoya, has said. 
   
He hinted that plans were underway by the group to deploy a digital knowledge exchange platform that would mobilise and empower young Nigerians with free resources and training to become active citizens and social change leaders.
   
Oshunkoya, who disclosed this in Abuja during a youth conversation for a new Nigeria, said for the country to achieve lasting change, it must invest intentionally in capacity development that develops new leaders through collective action.
   

 
According to Oshunkoya, the project seeks to leverage the increased passion of young Nigerians to demand accountability from all levels of government.
     
He added that the project was also seeking to ensure that #EndSARS protests do not go by the way of previous citizens’ actions, assuring the group’s commitment to ensuring adequate protection and safety for youth leaders working to stick it all out, speak amid government crackdown and anti-citizen actions.
     
“In a renewed effort to build on some of the learnings from the #EndSARS protests, Citizens Common International recently launched a partnership with Voice Nigeria to activate new opportunities for young Nigerians that are looking to amplify their voices, access new resources and capabilities that aid their resolve to be change leaders and active citizens in the pursuit of a new Nigeria.”
   
Through the instrumentation of the Community Change Champion Programme, the director explained that the project would identify, train and engage 20 high potential youth leaders who emerged from the protests and other networks.
   
He maintained that the programme would create a community of action and resources as well as training that empowers them with key skills, access mentorship and networks of leaders, institutions and resources that could strengthen their work as change champions.
   
“As the third pivot, the project will organise the Youth Conversations for New Nigeria, a series of national debates and community town halls consultations designed to create awareness and highlight policy issues of importance to young Nigerians from communities to campuses, the result of these consultations will be published and used as advocacy material to engage policymakers, state actors and stakeholders,” he explained.