Nigerian youths have been urged not to allow themselves to be used by the politicians as thugs to unleash violence and disrupt the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Barrister Abayomi Oke who made the appeal while speaking at a lecture titled the “Role of Youth In Electoral Process” organised by the Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural Association (YYSA) in Ibadan, urged them to shun thuggery and violence.
He noted that the lecture was timely now that the President had signed into law the bill ‘not too young to run’ that encourages full participation of youths in politics.
The commissioner, who was the guest speaker noted that it was right step in the right direction to awaken the consciousness of the youths to what their roles should be in the politics and electoral process for them to take their rightful position in politics of Nigeria as election year 2019 is fast approaching.
“Speaking of the optimal integration of youths in the society, which includes a number of aspects of the everyday lives of youth from socialization in the family, through education and employment to political activity, the political participation of youth seems to be especially problematic.
“Nonetheless, Youth participation means involving them in responsible, challenging actions that meet genuine needs and giving them the opportunity to participate in planning and decision making,” he said.
Oke argued that their participation in decision making was important because, it leads to better decision, actions and outcome since young people have as social actors, experience unique of their situation.
He said it promotes the well-being of young people and development of their skills and strengthens the commitment to and understanding of human rights and democracy.
While noting that the roles of the youth in the electoral process cannot be over-emphasised as they constitute larger percentage of the population, he said they must be actively involved as they determined the future of the nation.
He lamented the failure of some Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs), urging the youths to involve in the registration exercise and sensitize the people on the need for their full participation in the electoral process.
Also speaking, the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Benjamin Oki Akanmu noted that the election is close.
He urged the youths to have focus on what should be their contributions to the political development of the country.
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