The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has advocated for a more comprehensive engagement of the Nigerian youth by government at all levels.
The Speaker who made the call while delivering a keynote address in a webinar for the commemoration of this year’s International Youth Day, organised by the Office of the Speaker and the Nigerian Youth Parliament, also noted that the Nigerian youth needed to show greater interest in government and governance.
According to him, relegating the Nigerian youth to the background by the governments was inimical to the national development of the country being the most critical segment of any society.
Gbajabiamila noted that one of the most effective means of participating in government by the youths is to constantly engage their representatives in the legislature at all levels.
He added that it was imperative, that Nigeria with a massive and ever-growing youth population tap into the youths imagination, energy, vibrancy and talents.
The lawmaker further pointed out that the country will not reach its full potentials until governments at all levels learn to engage with the changing values, needs, and expectations of Nigeria’s youth.
The Speaker also called on Political leaders to act now and dismantle practices and systems that serve only to exclude youths from political participation, or that limit them to operating on the fringes as foot soldiers in the battle for spoils.
In his presentation, Imo state Governor Hope Uzodinma said the Nigerian youths, being the hope of the country must not miss their steps towards nation-building as this would spell doom for the country.
In her submission The Minister of Women Affairs Pauline Talllen noted that it is incumbent on the youths to take up the issue of gender-based violence as a national question.
Tallen, who was represented by her Special Assistant on technical issues Joan Idonije urged Nigerian youths in communities and schools to establish advocacy groups against rape and other gender-based violence.
Former Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, as well as the Minister of Sport and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, who all participated in the webinar also urged youths to show more interest in national development.