By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: As the 2023 general elections draw near, Nigerian youth have expressed readiness to mobilize themselves to occupy strategic positions of leadership in the country.
It is in line with this, that the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) organised its first National Youth Summit, where Nigerian youth were urged to join hands with the government at the federal, state, and local government levels to move the Nation forward, by taking responsibility for issues and challenges affecting their present and future.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, stated that the time has come for the Nigerian youth to awake, aspire, put action into their aspiration and fill up different leadership positions.
Fayemi, who was represented by Makinde Araoye, Special Adviser on Federal Matters, noted that ahead of the 2023 elections, Nigerian youth won’t allow anyone above 60 to run for the office of the President.
According to him, “We the Nigerian youth won’t allow anyone above 60 to run for President. Nigeria has suffered enough, and enough is enough! We have to take action, mobilize. We need to ask ourselves hard questions on what the role of Nigeria youth would be going forward”.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman Governing Board, Nigerian Youth Congress, Dr. Yakubu Shendam who represented the Special Guest of Honour and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, called on the Nigerian youth to shun ethnicity and religion and work as one to achieve a common goal.
He urged the youth to begin to demand that the Government give them the right people to lead youth Organizations particularly the Ministry of youth, adding that whoever wants to be President 2023, will meet the youth there.
In his words, “We are not violent people and we will support Government policies. A lot of programmes were not accessible to the youth because we were not ready but we are now ready which is the reason for this Summit. If we believe in ourselves without segregation, we can take this country. We have power, there is strength in our numbers”, he said.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the President, Nigeria Youth Congress (NYC) Blessing Akinlosotu, noted that the National Youth Summit is a very strategic and important one as its resolutions will be presented to the Federal Government, National Assembly, and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to be worked on for proper implementation for the betterment of the Nigeria Youth.
He said, “It is important to state that a nation with a hardworking and creative youth population like ours will develop speedily if it realizes its potentials and harnesses the same for the betterment of its present and future to come. This is why as a patriotic generation of young minds, we feel the importance of organizing ourselves to be responsive to the challenges confronting this nation, Nigeria”.
He noted that the Summit with the theme: ‘Youth Mainstreaming in the National Development Agenda’ aims to come with workable suggestions to be presented to all the major actors in governance that the place of youth can not be substituted or replaced with anything.
He stressed on the need to provide equal access (for the youth) on any planned action, including legislation, policies, formulation and implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and programmes, in all political, economic, and social spheres so that (youths) should benefit equally and inequality not be perpetuated.
For his part, the NYC Secretary-General, Dr. Edoh Raymond said they are engaging state Governors on the security situation in their states to ensure that the Youth and other Nigerians in those states are safe.
He added that the Summit will ensure that the youth are taught and trained for free on certain skills, adding that the NYC also engages youths in various states on the need to shun fraudulent activities.
The Summit had in attendance, youth from different walks of life as well as heads of agencies, both Government and private.