In view of the prevailing conditions in the country, God has brought a unique opportunity for Nigerian youth to take advantage of, using their great potentials to take over mantle of leadership of the country.
Kaduna State Commissioner of Youth Sports and Culture, Mr. Daniel Danauta gave the charge while delivering the keynote address at a one-day inter-party youth dialogue for Strengthening Citizens Engagement in Electoral Process (SCEEP) partners, organised by League of Democratic Women (LEADS) in Kaduna on Thursday.
According to him, in actualising the potentials, the youth have to remain focused.
“You have to prove to them that you can do it better. I am urging you to be focused, resolute and determined. You can make a difference. It is only you that can bring about that change. Be sincere, don’t be misled by anybody or allow yourself to be distracted,” Danauta who was represented by Mrs. Hussaina Suleiman, advised.
In her remarks, Director of Gender Awareness Trust (GAT), Dr. Lydia Umar warned that while pushing for youth to take over leadership positions, it was important to note that to ensure that things are put in the right perspective, a consensus has to be built to prevent creating discrimination against the older population.
“The caution I want to give here is that there is need to be careful to avoid reverse discrimination. By saying that the older ones have not performed and we put all of them aside, would be discrimination.
“What we want to see is partnership because you cannot do away with the experience of the older ones. I would suggest that sometime withing this project, you bring together the older ones and the youth to dialogue,” she suggested.
She however, admitted that the youth are better positioned to take control with the passing of ‘Not Too Young To Run Bill’.
“Those in Abuja have played their part, I challenge those of you in Kaduna to pursue same and get it domesticated at the state level,” she charged.
In a goodwill message, representative of the Human Rights Monitor, Barrister Martins Joseph praised LEADS for organising the dialogue.
“The forum is apt especially bin Kaduna that an election is coming up and whatever we interact here will help us at the elections,” he said.
He tasked the youth present to not just be mere participants, but opinion moulders who would go back to their various communities and impact on other youth.
In her welcome remarks, Executive Director LEADS, Barrister Rebecca Sako-John explained that the dialogue was initiated to chart a way forward for inclusion of more youth in political party activities and contesting for elective positions.
She explained that at the end, submissions would be made to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM) and all the political parties.
She expressed delight with the unprecedented turn out, while being optimistic that the aim of the dialogue would be achieved.
Stakeholders at the dialogue included youth drawn from all parts of the state, INEC officials, SIECOM officials, PDP and APC youth leaders, top NGO heads, media and human rights groups.