By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The Youth Governance for Change Forum (YOGOC) has called on government at all levels to include youths in the governance of the country for national development.
The executive director of the group, Beki Olubukola, made the appeal while addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
She said the youths constitute a larger percentage of the Nigerian population and should be the agents of positive change and crusaders for good governance through active participation.
She noted that young people have been marginalised in the country’s developmental process due to the conspiracy of the elite, which make it impossible for youths to be on the fringes of leadership.
“While the youths are often involved in informal, political relevant processes, such as activism or civic engagement, they are not formally represented in national political institutions such as parliaments and many of them do not participate in elections. This exclusion can create destabilisation and accelerated conflicts which impacts negatively on the quality of democratic governance.
“The International community has recognised and stated the importance of youths participating in politics as stated by the United Nations Secretary-General who said that Youths should be given a chance to take part in the decision making at local, national and global levels. It is of great importance.
“Youth inclusion in the political aspects of Nigeria is very critical in a sense that it is a great machinery to reinvent the governance structure of the country. Therefore, creating an enabling and equitable environment for youth in Nigeria is unquestionable. Today’s youth need real opportunities to participate in political processes and contribute to practical solutions that advance development,” Olubukola said.
She added that YOGOC was determined to equip the present-day youths and to serve as a plug between the government of the day and the youth of the nation.