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Scholars challenge youths to brace up for leadership opportunities

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Scholars in the country have challenged Nigerian youths to brace up for responsibility and demonstrate qualities of leadership.

The university scholars stressed that leadership opportunities are offered only to purposeful and resilient youths, who are ready to positively impact immediate society.

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They made the call at a two-day roundtable discussion on “The Nigerian Youth and Leadership Development”, organised by Centre for Gender Studies, Bayero University, Kano (BUK), in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.

Speaking at the event, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Prof. Hassana Sani Darma noted that Nigeria youth require quality leadership skills to build successful future.

Darma said the youths needed to be engaged meaningful to harness their potential, while disabusing their minds from violence.

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She said the programme draws youth from various backgrounds to discuss challenges of youth and how to make them better individuals in the society.

“We want to continue to engage the youths in the leadership process, to be more enlightened, empowered and address cases of violence involve youth in the society. We intend to build their skills so that we make them more responsible.

“We also plan to train them to be advocates of moral standards and agents of positive change. By doing that, we would be building a prosperous and productive society and leadership for the near future,” Darma noted.

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On his part, Dr. MaiKano Madaki of the department of sociology, BUK, advocated for youth participation in Nigerian politics. He regretted how the political atmosphere in the country has become hostile to youth participation in leadership positions.

The don believed the country may continue to wallow in leadership challenges until the political tradition of recycling old personalities in the corridor of power, is replaced with energetic patronage of the younger generation.

MaiKano, who expressed worries over lack of opportunities and enabling environment to harness leadership quality of the younger generation, regretted that Nigeria is still running a mono-economic system devoid of required experience and scientific knowledge to drive growth.

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He said: “The youths of this country have limited opportunity to take part in leadership position despite their potentials and capacities. Again, the political system we operate in Nigeria does not provide an appropriate atmosphere for people with vast experience, reputation and knowledge to run the social economic development of the nation.

“What we have is a status quo where the elite and wealthy individuals continues to recycle themselves in the corridor of power at the expense of the youth, making them inactive and redundant. Already the political system is not favorable for the youths, rather the system is meant to serve the rich, elite and powerful people in the society.

“It is so expensive to become a leader and where will the youths muster the capacity to fund expensive campaigns. The youths only have potentials and skills, which are still raw and yet to be harnessed, while the leaders are sitting tight, while making it extremely difficult for the younger generation to occupy leadership position.”

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To address these challenges, MaiKano called for institutional change to create a favorable atmosphere where the youths will claim ownership of space to demonstrate their potentials.

“We need to start the process of changing the old order and the orientation of our political class, because leadership in Nigeria is not exclusive of the rich. That will simply undermine the chances of the younger generation,” he said.

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