Participants at the just concluded National Youth Dialogue have unanimously believed that Nigerian youths must get serious and fight for their right to remain relevant in the country.
The Dialogue, which took place at the Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, drew participants from across the country who expressed various degrees of reservations towards the feasibility of the NottooYoungToRun Bill.
According to them, allowing the youth to contest for leadership offices is beyond passing the bill, but rather equipping them with the necessary skills commensurate with the demands of these offices.
Speaking at the dialogue under the theme: ‘Leaders of tomorrow: When is Tomorrow’, one of the panellists, Josephine Washima, said: “Nobody will give youths the power to rule if you don’t fight for it.
“Even the old men are not ready to leave power, if the youths are not ready to take over, the bill may just be another effort in futility.”
Mrs Washima, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Job creation, further stressed that a Nottooyoungtolead fund should be raised to support young persons who intend to contest for elective positions.
According to her, the fund would go a long way in encouraging people to participate in politics even at their young age.
Also speaking, the Youth Leader of Kowa Party, Jude Feranmi, also pointed out that youths form the bulk of those who fought for Nigerian independence.
“Check out those who fought for our independence, they are youths, it is only imperative that we understand our power as youths and believe in our capabilities to steer change in the Country”.
Mr Feranmi further said that youths must show they are ready to lead,”Youths must show that they are ready to lead before there can be trusted in their capabilities.”
Other participants also believed that for the bill to work, there was a need for peace and unity to be the order of the day.
The participants, therefore, stressed the importance of peace in the country, saying that if there is no peace, youths may not be able to elect young persons into power.
Earlier speaking, the organiser of the Dialogue, Mr Ali-Bob said the program will continue to hold as an annual event with the aim of presenting an evergreen future for the Nigerian Community.
“We were inspired by the fact that we needed to inspire Nigerian Youths and give them a platform to grow, come together and unite for a common goal, we will grow bigger in subsequent years as you can see our drive from today’s event,” he said.
NEWS DIGEST reports that after the summit, the #NottooYoungtoLead fund initiative was also launched.
According to Mrs Washima, the fund would open a new chapter for youth with ideas in the country including young political aspirants.
Also, awards of excellence were also given out to youths who have stood out in their chosen and different fields.
Some of the Guests at the summit were: Adamawa Guber Aspirant, Nelson Hundofomore, National Woman Leaders of ADP and YDP, Hon. Esther Dyaji and Rose Lare Yuguda, Youth Leader Kowa Party, Jude Feranmi, Alhassan Yakubu, Andy Madaki, Mark Amaza, Josephine Washima, Gimbal Kakanda.