By Patrick Obia
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, youths have been charged to be vibrant in politics, and not to sit aloof on the fence because they are the deciding factor in every election.
This was the charge at the second edition of the Cross River State Youth Convention of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, in the State with the theme “Imperative of Youth Inclusiveness in Governance,” where panelists and speakers said the youths are a force that must be reckoned with.
They noted that the youth will continue to be exploited and relegated to the background unless they intentionally get up and build their capacity to be active and deliberate in politics.
The keynote speaker, the Lead Pastor of Honey Streams Christian Center, Pastor Akomaye Ugar implored the youth to prepare themselves for sensitive positions.
Pastor Akomaye said there are three D’s (Discovery, Development, and Deployment) and three E’s (Education, Experience, and Exposure) that must be put together on a way to success.
He inferred: “We must open our minds to change if we are going to become balcony of change; I believe that the time should come when we should be acting locally but influencing globally, pulling what is acceptable globally and practicing it locally so that the result we bring locally can have international acceptance,” adding that young people need the right mindset as everything boils down to mentality.
In a goodwill message, the National Rescue Movement, NRM, guber candidate, Mr. Solomon Patrick said he is a passionate about leading the State and won’t relent. He urged the youths not to sell their mandate because that is the beginning of failure.
Presenting their paper one and two respectively, the Deputy Governorship candidates of the Young Progressive Party, YPP, and National Rescue Movement, NRM, – Princewill Agbor and Matthias Angba said youths must be deliberate on what they want by taking the bull by the horn.
The YPP deputy governorship candidate on his part posited that there is a generation that has to disappear for the youth to take over.
He said every nation needs an awakened youth in mind, body, and soul, adding that should that not be done in the 2023 general elections it might be difficult to grab the opportunity again.
He averred that getting to the top in politics is not all about money but because the older ones use that to keep the young people down. He said: “They deliberately impoverish us so that we can not stand up; a hungry man can not go to war, they have starved us and we can not fight in a country, so whatever we see we take it.”
On his part, Matthias Angba of NRM dwelled his paper presentation on four cardinal points – leadership, innovation, peace, and prosperity.
He said as a young person vying for any position, you must be innovative, creative, and passionate to effect a change as well as have something to offer to the larger society.
In the earlier remarks, the State Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Cross River State, Dan Obo Jr. said it is pertinent to come up with a convention of this nature to give Cross River youths a voice of their own.
Dan admonished youths to shy away from pull-down syndrome and be a ladder for others to thrive.
The convention witnessed panel discussions tagged Vote Not Fight, Election No Be War, and awards to selected recipients who are youth-friendly.
See pictures below: