-Speech delivered by Hon Amb Adara Stephen Abiodun media Aide to popular local government aspirant in oshodi Isolo (Hon Skibanj) Adebanji Adeoye Atewogboye.
Solidarity greetings to Lagos youth!
The topic before me is: The roles expected from Nigeria youth against 2023 election but as a reform youth who passed through different ideological school of taught and my radical persuasion towards youth engagement for a better society will ask for your permission to rephrase the topic to; The roles expected from youths and Nigerian government BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER ELECTION for a symbiosis relationship. This should not be limited to 2023 alone.
Ladies and gentlemen, honourable Chairman, dignitaries present here, I am delighted to present a topic like this, when Nigeria government really need and want to engage her youth positively.
The youth population of a nation is the foundation of it’s society; their energy, inventiveness, character and orientation define the pace of development and the security of a nation. Through their creative talents and labour power, a nation makes giant strides in economic development and socio political attainments. In their dreams, and hopes, a nation founds her motivation on their energies, she builds her vitality and purpose. And because of their dreams and aspirations the future of a nation is assured.
Youth engagement and increased participation, undoubtedly has become an instrument of nation building because it leads to Empowerment and youth empowerment in turn, help build the society and remedy a range of social problems. Youth participation is arguably part of political orthodoxy of democratic tradition. As a matter of fact, nothing is more important to the health of our democracy than the active engagement of young people in representative government.
If this is clear to us as a nation then, we need to demonstrate Commitment to address the problem of youth marginalization in our country because as it is today, the idea of youth participation in Nigeria often end at the polls and during electioneering campaign where youths are only used and later dumped. There is need to challenge some of these bad practices among our politicians in the interest of our society. When we neglect and exclude our youths, we are also missing their valuable insights and ideas. Therefore as a youth I will indulge us to be available and ready to take any youthful task in the society. For example, I standing in front of you belongs to different youth organization bodies in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole, some of the organizations are; Yoruba Afenifere Youth Organization of Nigeria Lagos State Chapter ( publicity secretary),
National Youth council of Nigeria Ikeja local branch( Director on special duties) Lagos Youth Agenda (media), Progressive Youth movement, Great minders( Director of Strategy) Not too young to rule, Elfon, Rotary club, Believers in politic, etc I am active member in all the aforementioned organization, I still crave for more until our yearnings and agitations for greater youth emancipation is consider by the government. Belonging to youth productive body will enhance your capacity to viciously stand right. In furtherance of this, try to belong to a political party then, your eyes will be open to so many things, that is when you can make a decision whether to Make or Mar the system, different stages has different challenges in politic but my advise is to settle for positive change.
The truth is that, global explosion in knowledge and social consciousness has enhanced the capacity of Nigerian youths. However, their ability to utilize these assets effectively to drive national transformation would depend on the leadership opportunities available to them. Research has shown that by 2030, youth will be Nigeria greatest asset not oil. How?
For Nigeria, the youth portion of her population is easily a demographic majority with an estimated figure of 68million or thereabouts. This figure, put in context, is twice the total population of Ghana, more than the population of South Africa and bigger than the population of United kingdom. If the Nigerian youth population were to be a nation, it would be fourth largest country in Africa and 19th in the world. By sheer numerical strength, it would therefore be a major country to reckon with in the entire world.
Therefore, opportunities should be provided for youths in Nigeria to be a voice in the nation’s decision making process which will help to develop the skills and knowledge required to be effective, well to do leaders and contributing members of the society. There must be a radical change in the present belief where we see the youths as mere representation of tomorrow’s leaders; we must see them as a distinct social category of people who are educated, competent and prepared for the task of today’s leadership.
Considering the roles of Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwolu to ignite and make necessary ingredient available for youths to triumph in Lagos State, but I will say emphatically that those he entrusted the youth organs of Lagos State are not doing very fine or meeting the expectations of the youth. When government placed the necessary people who understands the voice and cry of the youth, a working relationship is certain. A government of the youth is far better to non participating youth government, thus, they have tried all there best but yet to hit the skull, it is our duty as an organization to come in place where government are not getting it right, we thought the ENDSARS saga will open the eyes of the government to critically look into youth problem. Here I have three Approaches to solidify and promote Nigerian youths for positive changes.
1) Shun Indiscipline: indiscipline had hitherto caused set back and insanity to our pride and dignity as a country, indiscipline among the executives, judiciary and legislative arm of government, which later trend to the least group in the society which is the family, how ever, a country where indiscipline had pervaded it system is on a perilous way, which can doom at anytime, enough of all the shenanigans and chicanery revolving among our leaders, let’s come out with full force to campaign against this malignant issue called indiscipline.
2) Sensitization A child that have the impetus to face his father with a gun just for the father to know how important his demand is, doesn’t make him a fool, arrogant or lack manners but has been sensitized that every man fear gun, irrespective of who they are, so the young sharp use that against his father and his demand were meant, also when effective and positive Sensitization can go down to all local region in Lagos State all youth will be reformed and majority of youth that involve in some social vices will surely be delivered. Youths need a thorough Sensitization to know and equipped themselves with necessary information needed from the government but when there is break in information, they become agent of ENDSARS, for this not to happen a pep work need to be done on that.
3) Government/Youth Talk or week : A government that fail to bring the youth closer to his government are cowards, yes! The youth are “Oliver twist” will always want to ask for more, that should not be a yardstick to distance yourself away from them. I can identify some politicians in Lagos state who are passively involved in Youth talk and youth Assignment some of them are: Hon Skibanj, Alhaji Adeokun Hon Dr Mojeed Balogun Sen Abiru Hon Wiseken Hon Oshun The Prince Hon Gbenga Abiola Agbelebu and all other Progressive leaders that time will not make me to mention.
I will enjoin the Governor of Lagos State to reach out to the grassroot and organize a weekly youth talk, it is not necessary you are there, I am charging the commissioner for Youth and SSA youth and development to the Governor to buckle up there shoes because youth engagement is gainful and productive.
A few examples of our national history will attest to the fact that when given opportunity, the Nigerian youth possesses the capacity to lead with distinction. Shehu Shagari became a federal legislator at 30, and federal minister at 35, M.T mbu became a minister at 25 and Nigerian High commissioner to United kingdom at 26. Richard Akinjide became a minister at 32, maitama sule became a minister at 29 and yakubu Gowon became Head of State at 32. All these are pointer to the fact that the time has come for Nigerian youth to scale the wall of exclusion in leadership and governance. So far so good it is imperative to carefully learn from the past leaders who reign from their youthful age till now. There are no secret behind it, they make themselves available, which is part of the expected roles to exhibit before, during and after election; These are:
1) Belong to a reform youth forum and have capacity
2) Join a political party and be a bonafide member
3) Get your voters card by all means
4) Support and vote a candidate of your choice
5) Do not involve in violent and make sure you protect your vote.
With these simple actions your society will recognize you and you will be pen down for good conduct. Yes, they are achievable, there is no point establishing ministry of youth development at various level of government and having special Advisers on youth matter without a corresponding comprehensive and clear cut programme for the teeming youths as well as an agenda to incorporate youth governance and create job opportunities for our large number of unemployed youths. The government should explore methods to have youth members on various advisory boards, commissions, ministries representatives at council’s and create youth commissions or boards to advice council’s on matters related to youth.
Also, there should be commitment to youth development through youth representation in governance; the youths cannot continue to bewildered with the exhilaration of “leaders of tomorrow” that will never come. Youths are the leaders of today.
In lieu of the above the government have a huge and committed role to make the youth become prodigy or prodigal in the next coming election 2023, we shall play our roles in campaigning against violent, rigging, crimes, and other social vices in Lagos state, I know for sure that those of us here are ready to make peace, unity and be in tandem with Government that take us serious and ready to give our birthright and listen to our yearnings without Aluta or any form of protest.
In conclusion, the Holy Bible says the glory of the youth is in their strength except they know God they will do firm and do exploit, I want to beg us, to move closer to God and obey all his commandment with him we are at the Apex.
Build the youth…. Build the Nation
Destroy the youth….
Destroy the Nation
Note: if you are looking for any youth organization to join, depending your interest, contact:07038181660.
Thank you for listening.