Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called on Nigerian youths to take charge of the future, maintaining that it belongs to them.
The governor said this on Sunday during the 2022 Children and Youth Harvest Thanksgiving of the Our Saviour’s Church, Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion) at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Marina, Lagos. He told them to take part in nation-building activities to help in building a great country.
“What the church stands for is to give you (youths) the foundation and space for you to be able to do those things you want to do and fly to whatever height,” he said at the event tagged, “Harvest of Restoration and Divine Satisfaction.”
“Because indeed, you are not just the future of the nation, you are indeed the future of the world and the future is now. And so, you need to be a partaker of it and take full charge of it.”
He equally charged Nigerians to shun division, assuring that his administration will be fair to all parts of Lagos State.
“Let us hold ourselves together. Whatever is dividing us as a country are the little things that can also unite us as a country. Let us make the right choices. Let us create a tomorrow that all of them can be proud of,” the governor added in a statement issued by his media aide Gboyega Akosile on Sunday.
“We have that responsibility to continue to make this place (Lagos) safe. We have that responsibility to continue to make sure that we will not divide ourselves. We will continue to create opportunities for every one of our citizens. And we will continue to make it home to all for as long as they want to be peaceful and law-abiding.”
The governor and his wife Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu were Parents of the Day for the Harvest Programme.
“As long as we refuse to untangle the knot of injustice, peace cannot thrive. If we don’t talk about it, we fail to hold leaders accountable and we turn what should be transparent systems into ugly opaque cults,” Chimamanda noted.
“My experience made me think there’s something dead in us, in our society; a death of self-awareness and ability for self-criticism.
“There’s a need for resurrection. We cannot avoid self-criticism but criticise the government. We cannot hide our own institutional failure while demanding transparency from the government.”
The award-winning writer was one of the several guests at the conference which has the theme ‘Bold Transitions’.
Some of the personalities who graced the event on Monday include the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart Atiku Abubakar.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer Bola Tinubu did not attend. He was instead represented by his running mate Kashim Shettima at the conference which started on August 19 and will end on August 26.
The NBA had earlier said Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso did not confirm their availability for the conference.
Other presidential candidates at the event were that of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Dumebi Kachikwu and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Prince Adewole Adebayo.
The presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and that of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu have hailed Nigerian youths for their contributions to the nation.
Atiku and Tinubu’s messages came in separate statements issued to mark the 2022 International Youth Day.
The former vice president in a series of tweets on his handle described the nation’s young people as innovative.
“One thing is critical, our nation’s youth have never, at any point, lacked innovative ideas and unique energy for breakthroughs. What’s been missing is the necessary governmental leadership that will throw up opportunities to allow for full expression,” he said.
“There’s no telling that our current situation has drastically diminished the possibilities that should be available to young people to harness their potential. But hope beckons.”
He reiterated his commitment to ensuring that Nigerian youths attain their full potential.
“Our exponential ability has repeatedly proved itself, and it is my responsibility to ensure that the skills and talents of our youth are not left or forced into latency due to leadership oversight at the top,” he added.
On the other hand, the former Lagos State governor shared a video on his official handle, hailing the creativity of the country’s young people in several facets of life.
According to him, the ingenuity of Nigerian youths is why the country’s music “is moving people and making them dance in major venues across the world”.
Tinubu said Nigeria is “blessed with the inexhaustible energies and brilliance of young people. Every day, they keep breaking boundaries and records in almost every human endeavour. The creativity that lives in the heart of the average Nigerian youth shines bright like the sun.
“I must acknowledge and appreciate the innovators that power the economy that has changed lives. People like Mitchell Elegbe, Tarebi Alebiosu, Aniedi Odo- Obong, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin.
“And many others are leading the way, embellishing through their enterprise, creativity, and vision. Our nation’s fast-growing reputation as the best place for tech entrepreneurship on the African continent
“Our future is full of hope and excitement in the African continent. Our future is full of hope and excitement, in part because of the work of these men and women have done and continue to do. I celebrate them all.”
The APC chieftain also said that female Nigerian athletes are “showing the men how it is done”.
“What can I say that has not been said about the Queen of the tracks, Tobi Amusan?
“Record breaker, Ese Brume, fearless wrestler, Odunayo Adekuoroye, and speed setter, Favour Ofili are but a few of the young ladies showing the men how it is done and showing the world that Nigeria is more than just a footballing nation,” the former lawmaker added.
He reiterated that it is the duty of the government to create an environment that will lead to the harness of the country’s youthful talent, noting that their “success might bring pride, joy, and excitement to our people and renewed hope to generations of Nigerians to come”.
The director-general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been sued before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over the continued existence of the scheme.
In the suit, the plaintiff, Okomayin Ude, prayed the court for an order, that the continued sustenance of National Youth Service Corps Act, 1993 and the mandatory posting of Nigerian youths to states prone to insurgency and ravaged by banditry, is a breach of the right of the youths to security of life and dignity as guaranteed by Sections 33 and 34 of the 1999 as amended.
He also prayed for an order of injunction restraining President Buhari from assenting to the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund Act, Bill, 2022 as proposed by the National Assembly.
Within the affidavit in support of the originating summons, deposed to, by the plaintiff, Ude said he knows that the taxes paid by Nigerians form part of the revenue that the government of Nigeria is using to run and fund the NYSC, therefore the way and manner in which the government utilizes the revenue affects him personally.
He stressed that this additional burden on the revenue of the Nigerian Government is an additional burden on him as a tax paying Nigerian citizen.
According to him, the proposed National Youth Service Trust Fund Bill if assented to by the president, will impose additional taxes as proposed by the bill on him and other tax paying Nigerians.
He also asserted that “assenting to the Bill for the creation of National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund and spending more or additional public funds on the scheme will not only be additional burden on Nigerian tax payers of which he is, but a waste of public fund on a scheme that has lost meaning and relevance.
“That the National Youth Service Corps Scheme contemplates that every Nigerian Youth that the scheme applies to shall be able to be posted to anywhere in Nigeria and in service of the Federation.”
He further added that instead of assenting to the Bill to create National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund, the National Youth Service Corps Scheme in its entirety should be scrapped and abolished since the president, who is to assent to the bill cannot guarantee the security of lives of Nigerian Youths that are posted across the federation pursuant to the scheme.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.
Youths in Imo State have staged a protest demanding justice for over 10 youths of the area who were reportedly killed by state local security outfit Ebubeagu.
The protesting youths, who are indigenes of the Awo-mamma community in Oru East and Oru West Local Government Areas of the state, barricaded the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway on Tuesday, calling for the disbandment of Ebubeagu.
However, the Department of State Security (DSS) said that contrary to the views of the protesting youths, the killing was carried out by members of the militia wing of IPOB/ESN who gathered to plan their nefarious operations ahead of the illegal sit-at-home on Monday.
The killing took place on Sunday.
According to reports, the victims were returning to their community in Otulu in Oru East LGA from Awomama in the neighbouring Oru West LGA when gunmen suspected to be operatives of Ebubeagu opened fire on them.
The DSS, however, said the gunmen were not operatives of Ebubeagu and that they view that they were from the local security outfit was being peddled by IPOB/ESN members.
Youths at Jakande Estate, Isolo, on Thursday set ablaze over 20 commercial motorcycles, better known as okada after a fatal accident killed one person.
According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred after a rider plying a one-way route reportedly knocked down a pedestrian who died immediately.
In retaliation, youths in the area hijacked motorcycles in sight and set them on fire.
While reacting to the incident, the Lagos State Police spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin told Channels Television that the Divisional Police Officer in the area Folorunsho Gabriel responded to the emergency immediately, rescuing the suspect from the mob attack and evacuating the corpse from the scene.
“The Police arrived at the scene on time and rescued the motorcycle rider from lynching. The Police immediately took the rider to the hospital for treatment and evacuated the pedestrian. Before the Police arrived back at the scene, a mob was already burning the motorcycles left behind by the fleeing riders,” he added.
“The Lagos State Police Command condemns jungle justice in very strong terms. Anyone found engaging in such would be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Normalcy has returned to the area as security operatives are on the ground to forestall further mob action.
Wole Soyinka has lamented the rising level of insecurity in the country, saying many Nigerians go out unsure they would return home safely. He believes the country needs help to tame insecurity.
The Nobel laureate spoke on the sidelines of a media briefing held in Lagos on Thursday.
“This government needs help, it no longer can cope,” he said.
“It has been going on for years and I don’t know if the citizens of this country should live under such a cloud, such uncertainty: get up in the morning and you don’t know if you would get back at night.”
Soyinka, who noted that the problem has been lingering for a while, blamed the judiciary, impunity, and others issues for contributing to the problem.
“There has been laxity; there has been the encouragement of impunity; there has been compromise even within the judicial so that cases are not solved in time and seem to be solved very objectively,” the literary giant explained.
“There has been, of course, the sieving of money intended for the military to combat insurgency whether of the religious or the secular kind known as banditry.
“So, it is a multi-level situation and it did not begin just now. If we don’t keep stressing that, we would never get to the root of the problem.”
He also berated the main political parties in Nigeria – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the wave of defections.
According to him, such development does not augur well for the country’s democracy. Soyinka equally lamented the youths’ inability to take up leadership positions in the political space.
“The youths of this nation don’t seem to want to take their destiny into their own hands,” he said.
While recalling that he was part of the move for youths to present a consensus candidate during the 2019 election, he lamented that such did not materialise.
“Well, they failed to do that and I have a fear that this same thing will happen this year,” the revered poet explained.
The acclaimed author also berated the two main political parties in Nigeria – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – for the gale of defections.
This, the literary icon believes, makes it difficult to distinguish between the political parties.
“Look at the two major parties, there has been such cross over from one rivulet to another, each crossing having its own purpose that it is getting difficult to even distinguish between the two major parties,” Soyinka added.
As the 2023 elections draw near, the playwright noted that he might be a spectator, describing the country’s political scene as “turbid”.
“So, very likely, all I would do is take French leave of the elections and just watch the results,” he maintained.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) must be made attractive for young people to take ownership of the party.
The president disclosed this at the State House in Abuja where he played host to the APC national youth lobby committee led by the national youth leader, Ismaeel Ahmed. He said young people’s inclusion in governance would encourage learning and mentoring in government and politics.
President Buhari also mandated his Chief of Staff and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to ensure that all ministers and heads of agencies include young people with the requisite skills and experience in all boards and committees of the Federal Government.
He asked the SGF to submit a report on the inclusion of young people on boards and committees that are yet to be constituted, next month. The president further directed Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff, and the SGF to ensure monthly engagements with the APC Youth Lobby group for better synergy and cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities.
President Buhari urged both senior government officials to explore the establishment of a committee of young people to form the monitoring and evaluation team of ongoing Federal Government projects across the country. The president said the committee would provide feedback that will enable his government to hold public office holders and those given responsibility to account.
He also welcomed the idea of the establishment of a Presidential Committee on Youth in liaison with the youth leader, requesting the SGF and the Chief of Staff to work out the modalities for its operationalization. President Buhari told the APC Youth Lobby Group led by Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed that the leadership of the party would ensure full participation of young people at all levels.
”I will also support the aspirations of credible and committed young people who are vying for positions in the upcoming convention.
”It is also in our interest to ensure the longevity of our party by standardizing and institutionalizing the leadership recruitment system. Hardworking and exemplary individuals should be identified and encouraged and mentored. It should be a deliberate policy of the progressives in ensuring that we have a robust succession plan in place,” he said.
Commending members of the APC National Youth Lobby group for the work they are doing for the party, the president said: ”You are not begging, but negotiating, staking a claim, and seeking to add value, which is admirable.”
He urged them to help the party achieve a successful Convention on February 26, 2022, and in subsequent elections in Ekiti and Osun states. President Buhari declared that APC must be made attractive for younger people to continuously take ownership of it because that is the future, and ”that is what progress means.”
Expressing support for the establishment of the Progressive Institute for the party, the President said: ”The party must have an Institute where its ethos, character, and mantra are inculcated in our members. I will rely on you to share the concept note for further action.”
The president, who endorsed the 2021 APC Youth Conference Report, presented to him, assured the group that the recommendations in the report that are within his own remit would be given favourable consideration. He also promised to encourage the leadership of the states and the party to implement the recommendations of the report for the benefit of young progressives.
Describing the president as the leader of the party and moral compass of the nation, the APC Youth leader thanked him for sending a powerful delegation to the Progressive Youth Conference in June 2021, demonstrating that the present government believes in young people.
”Mr President, young people in Nigeria believe in your capacity and the history of your public service. You joined the Army at the age of 20, you joined the war to save the country at the age of 25, became a governor at the age of 33, minister at 36, and Head of State at 41.
”You joined politics at the age of 60 and was elected President at the age of 72. You have demonstrated through your personal example, the integrity that very few people have had the opportunity to demonstrate in the country,” he said.
On the forthcoming APC convention, Ahmed appealed to the president to speak for the ”young people whenever we are not there to speak for ourselves, as you have always done.”