2023 : Stop Wailing, Fight For Access To Mainstream Politics, OGSIEC Advises Youths - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, August 13, 2021

2023 : Stop Wailing, Fight For Access To Mainstream Politics, OGSIEC Advises Youths

 

                 •OGSIEC chairman's rep. 

By Ayobami Ife,  Abeokuta 

Youths in Ogun State and across Nigeria have been advised to take active part in governance and political processes if they hope to carve a place of theirs in the decision making process and development of the country tomorrow.

Chairman of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), Mr. Babatunde Osibodu gave the advice while delivering the keynote address at the 2021 International Youth Day and maiden inauguration of “Ogun What’s Next Summit” in Abeokuta, the State capital. 

Osibodu  challenged the youths to brace up and fight for their place.

Speaking on the theme: The Role of Youths in Electioneering Processes, he advised youth to form themselves into pressure groups, join political parties and demand for reasonable percentage in their various political parties.


The OGSIEC boss noted that  the greatest advantage of the youths was their numerical strength, which must be harnessed and leveraged on to create the much needed change they clamoured for.


Represented by a Commissioner at OGSIEC, Mr. Ayodele Bankole, Osibodu commended the organisers for the choice of the theme, disclosing that, the discussions around the topic would inevitably project and emphasize the roles and responsibilities of Nigerian youths in electioneering, as there was a reawakening of the youth to national consciousneness, maintaining that they remain unarguably, Nigeria’s greatest asset.

“The greatest asset Nigeria possesses is a vibrant and ebullient youth population. The African Youth Charter identifies youth as people between the ages of 15 and 35. Demographically speaking, half of the 210 million people are under 19 years old. The largest export outside crude oil is the human capital, comprising largely the Nigerian youths. In 2019, figures of diaspora remittances stood at $23.5B 

second only Oil revenue of $34.2B. 
‘’It’s not surprising that at the last Olympics in Tokyo, so many Nigerian youths represented other countries and won significant medals donning other Nationalities’ colours. Nigerian youth is a strong force anywhere in the world and competitiveness globally is never in doubt.

 “One way you can actively contribute in the electioneering process is by getting involved. For a very long time, the political space and by extension, the electioneering processes have been occupied by the aged because the youth, with their intellectual acumen and agility, prefer to wail over obnoxious government policies, rather than fight for access into the main polity of the nation to contribute their own quota to the developmental process. I am however, hopeful that this trend is gradually being subdued as attested to by the large number of youths that contested either as Chairmen or Councillors in the last election," he said.

He stated that in the just concluded 2021 Local Government elections in Ogun, OGSIEC in its several civic education and campaigns,  vigorously emphasized capacity development of the youth as a vital tool to significantly nudge the participation of the teeming population of youths in electioneering process.

"When the youths are engaged to participate in decision making and contribute beneficially to the societies, the future of participatory democracy in the land is guaranteed," he  addef.

The Commission Chairman called on the Nigerian Government and critical stakeholders in youth development to reassess the dormancy and the latent force of the Nigerian youths.

According to him, concerted efforts are required to reverse the trends in igniting the latent youth energies in education and digital skills, employment, mental health, equality and inclusion, peace, security and political and civil education.

Earlier in their remarks, convener of the Summit, Ogayemi Olamigoke, as well as Ogun State Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comrade Abdiljabar Ayelaagbe, called on the youths to utilize their various academic breakthrough and skills to make a change in the polity.

They pledged to expand the scope and operations of the youths to include monitoring of political activities, encouraging the youths to perform their civic responsibility, as well as interact with the political class to pave way for the youths.

Other dignitaries at the event included the Cultural Ambassador to the Ooni of Ife, Moronti Asabi, former Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titi Useni, youth and student groups as well as politicians.

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