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Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Fayemi, Atiku, others celebrate Nigerian youths

By Adamu Abuh, John Akubo (Abuja), Gbenga Akinfenwa, Victor Gbonegun, Adaku Onyenucheya (Lagos) and Ayodele Afolabi (Ado Ekiti)
13 August 2020   |   3:18 am
Eminent Nigerians, including President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday celebrated the youths

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola making Internet conversations from Abuja with the youth of Osun State during the celebration of International Youths Day in Osogbo…yesterday.<br />

’Our responsibility to them as leaders’
• ‘What they must do to get brighter future’
• Dakuku urges attention to young citizens

Eminent Nigerians, including President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday celebrated the youths and admonished them to work for good governance, be patriotic, shun criminality and develop their potential for brighter future.

The leaders gave the charges in their messages to commemorate this year’s edition of the International Youth Day.

Lawan and his Deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, challenged leaders on the need to give special attention to the youth “who are vulnerable group yet the future of the nation.”

The Senate president said the National Assembly passed the Not-Too-Young-to-Run Bill, which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law in May 2018, to avail the youth the opportunities to fully participate and aspire to any role in politics and governance.

“The education, knowledge, technical skills and character of the youth will determine the future conditions and character of the nation. Therefore, government must endeavour to create a system that nurtures the talents of the youth and ensures their robust development as they grow into the leadership of the society,” Lawan said.

According to him, the government owes the youth an environment that encourages them to unleash their potentials and realise their dreams.

He said he was happy with the way the youth were responding to the opportunities and challenges arising from the new law.

The Senate president noted that the current global health pandemic had made the youth even more vulnerable because of its havoc on social infrastructure, business and the economy in general.

According to Lawan, “It is our responsibility as leaders to help the youth see the windows of opportunities opening in the new world order foisted on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Omo-Agege said even in the face of unprecedented challenges, Nigerian youth had continued to demonstrate tremendous courage and resilience, thereby giving hope for a better future.

He urged all those elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to renew their people-centred commitment towards a better future under which Nigerian youth can, with better safety, dignity and opportunities, contribute to societal growth and development through the exercise of their fullest potentials.

GBAJABIAMILA, who delivered a keynote address in a webinar organised by the Office of the Speaker and the Nigerian Youth Parliament, stressed the need for Nigerian youths to show greater interest in government and governance of the country.

Pushing for a more comprehensive engagement of the youth by government at all levels, Gbajabiamila said being the most critical segment of any society, relegating them to the background would be inimical to the development of the country.

According to Gbajabiamila, one of the most effective means of participating in government by the youths is to constantly engage their representatives in the legislature at all levels.

He said: “In his lifetime, President Nelson Mandela of South Africa asked of citizens and policymakers thus: We must recognise the contributions young people make to our society. We must build upon the imagination, energy, vibrancy and talents of these our precious national assets.”

According to the Speaker, “This is an obvious imperative, more so in a country like ours with a massive and ever-growing youth bulge. Yet, often when I imagine what it must feel like to be a young person coming of age in Nigeria today, I think about the challenges that limit promise.

“Our country will not reach its full potentials until governments at all levels learn to engage with the changing values, needs, and expectations of Nigeria’s youth.

“All our dreams of prosperity hinge on our ability to provide the physical infrastructure, legal framework as well as cultural and social support required to unleash the innovative potential of our young people.

“To achieve this sort of profound transformation of our governance, all of us in government and politics must commit to opening the political space to allow for greater participation by our nation’s youth.”

Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma; former governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar; Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen and her Sport and Youth Development counterpart, Sunday Dare, who all participated in the webinar, urged the youth to show more interest in national development.

GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State advised the youths to shun rape, drug abuse, advanced fee fraud, ICT fraud and other crimes that could hinder the development of their potentials and derail their future.

Fayemi gave the advice in Ado Ekiti yesterday at the celebration of the 2020 International Youth Day themed “Youth Engagement for Global Action.”

The governor, who was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Biodun Omoleye, explained that the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 impeded the state government’s plan to issue appointment letters to successful job seekers in the last recruitment conducted in the state.

The governor urged the youth to look inwards and tap from the experiences of those who had passed this stage, saying the composition of his cabinet gave pointers to the fact that Ekiti youth have great future ahead of them, because they populate the state.

OYO State government charged the youth to brace up for the stage where they could secure their place in the world by taking the bull by the horns.

At a press conference to commemorate this year’s International Youth Day, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede, said the youth must not think less of themselves, adding that
despite the pandemic, they were worth celebrating.

FORMER Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, advised Nigerian youths to practice peaceful co-existence and demonstrate patriotism at all levels.

He also charged them to rid themselves of nepotism and promote competence above all forms of sentiment.

According to him, the theme of the celebration gives a critical picture of what the world perceives about the stake of young people globally.

Atiku said the global picture, “which has been on my mind, informed the decision of 40 per cent youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign, and it remained committed promise for the futuristic benefit of our great nation.”

His message was posted on his confirmed Twitter handle @atiku.

IN his message, former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, urged government at all levels to make more investments in the youth to guarantee a brighter future.

According to him, youth who are the future leaders, must be given pride of place in the overall development of any nation that seeks to progress.

“Government and senior citizens should pay adequate attention to youth issues, especially education, job creation and moral standards.

“Education must remain a top priority if we are to make meaningful progress. More investments should be made in the education sector, especially as regards infrastructure, teachers, and curriculum that will turn out better-equipped students and graduates,” he said.

FOUNDER and Executive Director, Live Abundantly, Dr. Onyerinma Ama, noted that cases of gender abuse has increased by 20 per cent across the world over the months, as a fallout of the lockdowns caused by coronavirus pandemic.

Ama, who disclosed this at a webinar organised by the group, which featured young Nigerians, to mark the International Youth Day, said more than one and a half billion children and youth had had their education interrupted.

She said: “Whilst I believe that every calamity births an opportunity, there is a sinister twist to the intensity of the change many vulnerable groups – women and children in particular-are currently experiencing.

“’The Gap’, as experienced in the forms of gender equality, violence, bias, harassment and poverty, to name but a few, violates the fundamental human rights of 50 per cent of the population. It limits their life potential, particularly girls who become women and ultimately key to the development of the community and the nation.”

THE Action Democratic Party (ADP) called for increased efforts to promote youth participation and commitment in politics, governance and leadership as well as more services aimed at their development.

The party, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Prince Adelaja Adeoye, praised Nigerian youths for their creativity and great exploits both at home and abroad.

According to him, the contribution of young people to Nigeria’s development is great as their voting strength determines the outcome of all elections in the country.