From:Ruth David Bauchi
A call has been made to youths activists in the country by International Press Centre (IPC) to focus their advocacy and activism not only on human rights campaigns but should contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic developments of their various societies.
The coordinator of IPC Mr. Lanre Arogundade said this during the ‘train the trainers’ course organized by the Action Aid for a coalition of youths activists drawn from across the nation under the auspices of ‘ACTIVISTA NIGERIA’ held at Jeparo hotel, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Arogundade who asserted that youths have the highest population in Nigeria advised them to imbibe the attributes of patriotism, honesty and doggedness in order to succeed in their activism as well as effect positive changes in the country.
He said the youths could be destructive if not well oriented pointing out that all the current security challenges in the country ranging from the Boko Haram crisis, armed banditry, kidnapping and militancy being experienced in parts of Nigeria were perpetrated by the youths, hence the need for the government and other stake holders to come up with re-orientation programs for the young citizens in order to make them engage in useful ventures that could add value not only to their lives but to the society in general.
Arogundade, who cautioned the youths not to belittle themselves as political thugs, body guards to politicians or praise singers, challenged them to vie for elective positions in future polls so that they would be among the movers and shakers of the nation who could influence policies and decisions for the betterment of the people.
According to him,”The suffering is for everybody except the ruling class and their cohorts but the people need to rise to fight together in order to find solution to the problems facing Nigeria. Because nobody was born to be an activist and it is the responsibility of all oppressed people to rise up and challenge harsh government policies affecting their lives without fear or favour because poverty and hunger have no tribe or religion.”
He also lamented that the Nigerian political system is crowded with too many political office holders which invariably increases the cost of governance opining that the parliamentary system of government be restored in the nation to make life better for the poor and mitigate corrupt practices by the leaders.
In her remarks during the opening of the one week course, the country director of Action Aid Mrs Ojobo Atuluku explained that ACTIVISTA is a platform created by the Action Aid for youths activists in Africa to encourage and train them on developmental activism adding that the course would focus on how to eradicate hunger and poverty in Nigeria.