From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Youths in Enugu State have vowed to get more involved in the political process ahead next year’s general elections.
They also called for the openness and collaboration of adults especially senior citizens to move society forward through emerging innovations.
Executive Director of Red Aid Nigeria, Ajuluchukwu Edechiene stated this at a symposium organized by the South Saharan Social Development Organisation (SSDO) and Actionaid to commemorate this year’s International Youth Day in Enugu.
In a lecture on “How youths in political leadership can bring positive change,” he noted that there was need for more youths to get into political power and begin to change the narrative.
Speaking further at the symposium themed: “Inter-generational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages,” Edechiene posited that there was need for a policy direction that mandates every young person to undergo internship or volunteering to understudy and be mentored early in life.
“Youths have to leverage on their overwhelming numbers to galvanise themselves to take up political space and start making a difference.
“There is need for youths to pool resources together and encourage those with leadership acumen, who have been mentored, to occupy decision making offices to bring in innovation and energy,” he said.
Another youth activist and Executive Director of New Century Initiative, Collins Nebo, said that most adults feel unsecured working with young people especially the intelligent ones.
According to Nebo, life is like a cycle, which everyone should be given opportunity to add something into and the elders should open up, sharing their experience and limitation for younger ones to carry on.
For Miss Florence Ugwu, Convener of Initiative for Girls and Women Enlightenment, the youths must maximise the use of social media to deepen advocacy for inter-generational shift and change.
Ugwu noted that youths should not only dominate the social media space but ensure that they pull the adults into it and let everyone be on the same positive page of moving the community or society forward.
“Social media remains the greatest weapon of change the youths have for mobilization, reorientation and awareness on issues that affect everyone and use same to ensure the adult population is carried along,” he said.
Chief Executive of Sparks Consults, Mrs Chinyere Otuonye, urged youths to ensure that they do all to sell their visions and programmes for the understanding of all.
Several non-governmental organisations and youth-based groups within Enugu State participated in the event.
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