Youths have been urged to be proactive and consciously involve themselves in the political and governance space in Nigeria.
This call was made by speakers at the anti-corruption dialogue organised by Social Investment for Impact and Development in Africa, SIID Africa in commemoration of Nigeria’s 60th independence.
In his opening remark, the Executive Director of SIID Africa, Mr Lawal Olamilekan said the purpose of the dialogue was not to pass blame or wrongs but to engage youths on how they can collaborate to change the narrative.
Bukola Idowu, the Executive Director, Kimpact Development Initiative, while speaking, said ” as youths, if we want to drive governance and be able to engage in the highest level, we need to develop the capacity for governance as many of the youth are not interested in governance, the constitution and budget.
“We need to have a conversation on how to have quality leadership in every sphere of our development as a nation.
“We cannot be complaining outside the field we need to get on the field to participate, young people need to join political parties to be able to effect and drive change,” he added.
Gender expert, Emmanuella Azu, said “there is need for Nigeria to have inclusive governance of the young, old and persons with disabilities.
“To achieve this, we need to develop our intellectual capacity, interests in politics and our mindset.
She added, “The world has become global and to follow the tide, we need the young people in governance. Without good and inclusive governance Nigeria will not achieve it’s social and economic target.”
The global president, Ready to Lead Africa, Godbless Otubure said “there is absolutely no other time in the history of our nation that young people should get involved in the conversation of nation-building than now.
Mr Otubure said, “the currently malfunctioning system does not allow the people to get the right information to demand accountability from it.
“I believe there’s a deliberate starving of the citizenry the right kind of information and education that enables people to act.
“If the youth understands the freedom of information act and the level of accountability that it can muster and demand from serving public service holders, Nigeria will change in the next ten years.
“All we have to do is currently activate the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, get the court to be aware and begin to demand that we get the right information at every point in time, public office holders will not use monies and award contracts the way they like.
Mr Otubure urged the youth to put values before profit in order to become a catalyst for the anti-corruption process.
“We should begin to think about society and not ourselves and stop promoting things that make us think of what we can get and not about what we can give.” He added.
Ella David Kehinde Samuel, President-in-council Nigerian Global Affair Council, said Nigeria needs leaders that are prepared not accidental policymakers, politicians, public servants.
Mr Samuel said, “we cannot change things by shouting, hashtags or protesting we can only change things by involving in governance.”