A Don, Prof Eddie Erhagbe, yesterday, urged youths to challenge the nation’s leaders on good governance and avoid being used as a tool by politicians.
Erhagbe, a Professor of History in the University of Benin, stated this in Benin at a one-day town hall meeting on “Youth Participation in Politics in Niger Delta”.
The event was organised by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), with support from, The Ford Foundation.
In a paper presentation titled:”Youth Participation in Politics in Edo: Issues, Challenges and Way Forward” disagreed that Nigeria youth have been exempted from political leadership.
The don noted that on the contrary, the youth have been active participants in politics and governance since the beginning of the present democratically setting.
He argued that the only thing the youth have been denied, and that which have been affecting the country as a whole, is good governance.
He regretted that instead of demanding for good governance, the youth, rather, connive to work with the same people that have denied them the dividends of democracy.
The academician said as the 2019 general elections approaches, the youth must constitute themselves into a formidable force by holding those that have held the country to ransom since 1999.
According to him, “In as much as I do not have anything against the Not Too Young To Run Bill, I there say that it is not the problem of the youth.
“The youth have been active in politics and governance since the commencement of this present democracy; how old was Lucky Igbinedion, James Ibori and Donald Duke, when they became governors?
“The youth have been very active in politics and governance, especially, at the local and state levels. The real problem is getting the dividends of democracy.”
Erhagbe attributed the hardship in the country today, to what he described as the “premitive accumulation of wealth” by the nation’s political office holders.
While urging the youths to “genuinely and fully participate” in political campaigns in the coming elections, he also urged them to get themselves registered and be member of a political party.
The convener of the event and executive director of the Centre LSD, Dr Otivie Igbuzor, said the Centre has trains 240 youths, 80 each from Edo, Delta and Bayelsa States, to take leadership positions in 2019.
Represented by Mr Monday Osasah, the director said the Nigerian youth must be empowered to fully realise their potentialities to positively contribute to the overall development of Nigeria.
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