Some stakeholders in youth affairs have called on Nigerian youths to participate actively in politics and community development to create the change they desire.
The stakeholders made the call in a one-day Youths Consultative Forum to mark the International Youths Day, with the theme: “Safe Spaces for Youths Development,’’ in Enugu on Monday.
They said youths must not remain on the sideline and complain on the lack of inclusiveness when they could make a great impact on how their future could be.
The Executive Director of South-Sahara Social Development Organisation, Mrs. Nkechi Igwe, urged youths to rise and not sit at home when they could collectively make a difference.
Igwe urged youths to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to participate actively in politics and to engage in voluntary community services to contribute to development.
“The present generation of young Nigerians must think outside the box to find a way of solving the myriad of challenges facing the country.
“Youths must create the safe space they want to see and make Nigeria a much better place for themselves and their own unborn children,’’ she said.
The advocate of The New Enugu Project, Mr. Ekene Uzodinma, urged youths to take up the challenge of changing the status quo of old people still remaining in leadership positions in Nigeria.
Uzodinma said the youth should not leave old people to fashion a roadmap of practical development for them otherwise “it means we are idle with our brains.’’
According to him, youths must learn to take responsibility and stop the current blame game over the ills in the country.
“Youths should strive to create platforms where they and political aspirants or leaders would sit down and develop a manifesto that is germane and reflects the true need of the people especially taking care of today as well as the future of the country.
“We must give merit a chance in all our elective posts as well as when selecting people to positions or tasks that will impact on people’s lives,’’ he said.
The convener of the forum, Mr. Chukwuma Okenwa, said the International Youth Day celebration emphasized the need for youths to introspect on know how they were contributing to positively shape their future.
Okenwa, who is the founder of #YouthDecide2019, noted that youths remained the only hope of moving the country forward.
“Youths should think critically on how to move the country forward and get involved in all aspects of the development. I mean we should stop sleeping and sitting on the fence.
“We, the youth, must work hard and change the value system for Nigerians to see corruption as something abnormal and cancerous in nature,’’ he said.
The forum featured lectures on “Importance of Data’’ and “Use of Internet to Build Social Network’’.
More than 100 youths from various backgrounds and groups attended the interactive forum.