The British Council, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and other stakeholders have called for full engagement of youths in governance.
British Council, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and other stakeholders have called for full engagement of youths in governance.
They made the call during a policy dialogue in Abuja on Tuesday. The dialogue was organised under three British Council programmes, Agent for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT), Managing Conflict in Nigeria(MCN) and Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC).
The participants stated that since Nigerian youths were often victims and active participants in most violent conflicts, they were critical to finding solutions to various security, economic and other socio-political challenges.
Speaking, British Council CEO Scott Macdonald said many young Nigerians had brilliant hopes and towering aspirations and added that the council’s programmes over the years included increasing the chances of the vulnerable to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria.
“It is really a joy and privilege to be part of an organisation like the British Council, which is making a contribution to the future of Nigeria. We are attempting to share our skills and knowledge and in turn learning from Nigeria about the solutions that we can apply to the challenges we face at home in the United Kingdom,” said Mr Macdonald.
He added, “This is my first visit to Nigeria but British Council has been operating here for nearly 80 years and throughout these years we have connected young people through opportunities and education and various other programmes. Many of those who have taken part in British Council activities over the years have become leaders in many countries and across Nigeria.”
On security, he stated that the council had worked over the last 25 years with partners to strengthen peace and security in Nigeria.
Mr Macdonald expressed optimism that Nigeria and the UK would continue to maintain cordial relationships.
Contributing, IPAC chair Yabagi Sani said the youth had the capacity to bring about the needed change in Nigeria if fully involved in governance.
Mr Sani noted that with youths accounting for about 70 per cent of Nigerian population, their impact in good and sustainable governance could not be overemphasised.
“Power is never given on a platter of gold, you have to earn it and struggle for it especially in a capitalist society like ours, because nobody will give it to you for free,” said the IPAC leader. “So, I call on the youth not to relent in vying for political offices and to ensure violence and money for vote.”
He also urged women and persons living with disabilities to make their impact felt in the society by not just electing people into positions of authority but vying for positions.