By Archibong Jeremiah
The Chairman of Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River State, Itotup Joseph Asuquo has commended members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN Akamkpa wing.
The Chairman who gave the commendation during the inauguration ceremony of Akamkpa Youth Caucus, a sub think thank group of the NYCN, said the youth council was “always in order”.
Itotup Asuquo who was represented by one of his aides, Mike Ekune appreciated the guest lecturer, Dr. Raphael Offiong for his lecture which admonished participants to take note that no one can develop Akamkpa apart from its indigenes in any capacity, whether big or small.
The Paramount Ruler of Akamkpa Local Government, His Royal Highness Clement Emayib, who was also a guest at the occasion expressed happiness for being part of the event and described the caucus inauguration as “a step forward in showing that the youths are concerned about what happens in their village”.
The traditional father called on the caucus members to lead by example while reiterating that God has a reason for blessing Akamkpa so much with natural resources.
On his part the Chairman of the occasion, Bernard Ekori, Cross River State Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, revealed that the youth caucus is part of the NYCN efforts at entrenching leadership in the grassroots as an effective mechanism of participatory democracy.
He stated that young people have fertile minds for new ideas but what they lack is opportunity. He enjoined all who have tangible programs aimed at capacity building for youths in the state to join hands with NYCN because the task is enormous.
In his lecture titled “Youth Council and Local Government Council Partnership: A Panacea for Socio-Economic Development for Akamkpa Local Government Area”, the guest lecturer Dr. Raphael Offiong of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences in the University of Calabar, UNICAL itemized four levels of partnership to include: Community, Local Government, State and Federal levels.
Offiong affirmed that youths are the workforce of every society and the vanguard of meaningful and sustainable development. According to him, “We are rich yet poor; the solution is for us all to become entrepreneurs not depending solely on the government. During my time I used to be the only barber in this area and I used that well to pay my fees and today look at me….”, he said.
Dr. Raphael, a native of Akamkpa himself, took a swipe at the youths of Akamkpa and blamed them for the under development of the local government while encouraging them to believe in themselves and work to ensure meaningful change comes to their various communities.
“Believe in Akamkpa, believe in your individual strength, the local government council should help the youths with a functional center for comparative advantage, skill acquisition and always consult with them before taking any decision on their behalf”. He said.
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