Take Your Destinies In Your Hands, Nigerian Youths Advised


The Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Enitan Dolapo Badru, has urged youths in the country to take their destinies in their own hands by being active in the way they are governed by their leaders.

Badru also tasked them to be responsible citizens and take active part in the selection of their leaders and in the policies by which they are led.

The SA gave the advice while addressing Nigerian youths at this year’s International Youth Day celebration with the theme: Change Our World and held in Lagos.

The Special Adviser, who noted that the youths are the pillar of any democracy, maintained that they should not be seen as only a subject of policy development, but that they should play a key role in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies that affect their lives.

“The youths must believe in the importance of key democratic values and virtues such as tolerance of divergent viewpoints, support for the rule of law, principle of justice, equity, fair play and learn to analyse and absorb them.

“They must be willing and able to participate in local and national politics within the democratic framework and should also launch themselves as agents of change rather than being used as weapons for perpetrating violence in the State.

“The youths as beacon of the society should take their destiny in their hands through active participation and a clear vision of what the nation is and that they are obliged to contribute their quota towards the political and socioeconomic development of their communities and or state,” he advised them.

The SA, who reminded them that General Yakubu Gowon and Murtala Mohammed were heads of state in their 30s and that the Nigerian Youth Movement, an organisation led by notable young people in the country in the 1930s, contributed immensely to national struggle, lamented that it is now common to see youths these days becoming violent and used as thugs.

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He said the state government was aware of the challenges facing young people in the state.

“It is in recognition of this that His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, owed it a duty to the youths by creating an enabling environment for them to thrive and live a responsible life,” he noted.

He enumerated some of the state government’s achievements in this regard to include provision of functional vocational training programme, promotion of youths participation in the democratic process and civic decision making, promotion of responsible parenthood and provision of the right atmosphere for the mental and emotional development of the people of the state.

He challenged stakeholders in various sectors of the country to harness the energies of the youths in order to make them contribute effectively to the development of the nation.

He also advised the youths to be worthy role models in the maintenance of law and order, promotion of peaceful coexistence and shun social vices like drug abuse, rape, prostitution and examination malpractices, while promising that the government will continue to create the environment for them to be recognised.

Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Kamol Abiodun Junaid, said the celebration was in recognition of the recommendation of the General Assembly of the United Nations Youth Forum, that governments, corporate bodies and non-government organisations should evolve ideas and programmes that would address the needs of the youths, their aspirations and interests.

“Thus, government at all levels are aware of the fact that the youths are the greatest asset that any nation must have and their participation in the issues that affect them is paramount if the nation is to survive politically and socioeconomically.

“Let me reiterate here that one of the policy thrusts of the present administration in Lagos State under the amiable leadership of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, is to create a very conducive environment that will promote mutual understanding, co-operation and regular flow of ideas and views for harnessing energies of our young people towards productive and gainful ventures,” he stated.Ola Oresanya and security experts, among others.

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