Demonstrations well-articulated but lacked coordination, says minister
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, yesterday acknowledged that the recent #EndSARS protests were well-articulated but lacked leadership, hence the successful infiltration by hoodlums to wrought destruction on public and private properties.
He noted that the demonstrations, which were initially peaceful, turned violent because there were no “leaders to direct the focus of the struggle.”
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Prize for Leadership (NPL) Ambassador Programme in Abuja, Dare stated: “I am always troubled whenever the youths are troubled. The #EndSARS protests, which were well-articulated, organised and mobilised, suffered an unexpected defeat because there were no leaders to direct the focus of the struggle.”
According to him, “government learnt a lot of lessons from the protests, including the need to double the number of youths who benefit from entrepreneurship opportunities.”
Admitting that youths were the link between the past and upcoming generations, the minister added that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had rolled out over 25 schemes since 2015 to tackle youth unemployment in the country.
He disclosed that about N96 billion was budgeted to cater for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in 2019.
Dare said government would continue to support the private sector in creating the enabling environment for training of youths in leadership.
“You have learn from those ahead, and also take those behind along. The youths are leaders of today, and not leaders of tomorrow. Your role as a leader begins now, and leadership entails remaining focused and disciplined,” Dare charged the participants.
In his remarks, former Minister of Information and Culture, Prof. Jerry Gana, regretted that majority of young Nigerians were being kept out of leadership positions on account of flawed recruitment process.
His words: “The processes are unjustly organised towards those who have money,” adding that the Ambassador Leadership Programme (ALP) platform would be deployed to build a society where leaders emerge based on competence, merit and integrity.
Also speaking, Chairman, Governing Board of NPL, Prof. Anya Anya, noted that the essence of the project was to groom a new generation of exceptional leaders from the six geographical zones.
“Our mission is to institute and project a truly Nigerian leadership prize that will inspire Nigerians to lead a life larger than self for community, nation and humanity,” he added.
In his keynote address, Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, stressed the need for a responsible leadership in solving Nigeria’s numerous challenges.
He berated the present crop of leaders who “benefitted from free education but denied children of less-privileged access to education.”
Chairman Programmes Development Committee, NPL, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, clarified that ALP “is a residential, four week leadership course intended to equip the youth with strong moral, intellectual, social and physical capacities which will prepare them for leadership in different spheres of the society.”
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