By Collins Ajibola
The Youth Governance for Change Forum (YOGOC) has called for more active participation and representation of youths in governance.
The group said youths constitute a larger percentage of the Nigerian population, and so it is needful for them to be agents of positive change and crusaders for good governance through active participation.
The Executive Director of the group, Her Royal Highness Becky Olubukola, stated this on Wednesday during a press conference in Abuja, while noting that young people have been marginalized in the country’s development process because of the conspiracy of the elite, making it impossible for youths to keep on the fringes of leadership.
Olubukola noted that young people have been marginalised in the country’s development process because of the conspiracy of the elite, making it impossible for youths to keep on the fringes of leadership.
She added that money politics syndrome has characterised the Nigerian political terrain, thus making it difficult for the average young person struggling financially to participate in the decision-making process.
“While the youths are often involved in informal, political relevant processes, such as activism or civic engagement, they are not formally represented in national political institutions such as parliaments and many of them do not participate in elections. This exclusion can create destabilization and accelerated conflicts which impacts negatively on the quality of democratic governance.”
“The International community has recognized and stated the importance of youths participating in politics as stated by the United Nations Secretary-General who said that Youths should be given a chance to take part in the decision making at local, national and global levels. It is of great importance
“Youth inclusion in the political aspects of Nigeria is very critical in a sense that it is a great machinery to reinvent the governance structure of Nigeria. Therefore, creating an enabling and equitable environment for youth in Nigeria is unquestionable. Today’s youth need real opportunities to participate in political processes and contribute to practical solutions that advance development.”
“It is a known fact across the globe that for a country to attain growth and development, the socio-economic structure of the state has to be properly driven by the right forces. With a booming population consisting of 70% youth, this quantum of the population is a great asset for the Nigerian state if they are properly harnessed and utilized because they provide the required labour to sustain productivity in goods and services. The wheel of socio-economic growth in Nigeria lays on the shoulder of how productive and creative the youthful population are. Hence, the first step in empowering youth should start from the employment creation and integrating them into entrepreneurial activities through which they can contribute immensely in sustaining and promoting the socio-economic growth of Nigeria.”
“We as a group understand that a lot of people talk about governance without fully understanding the in-depth of it. Youths clamour for good governance and lay claim on how they will better rule the nation but most of them do not understand the peculiarity and dynamics of our nation called Nigerian and how to effectively function without ending up with the wrong choices that in the long run affects the nation.”
She added that YOGOC is here to equip the present day youth, serve as a plug between the government of the day and the youth of the nation, give the youth a recogniozed platform to speak and be heard.