By Joan Odafe
Lagos, Oct. 1, 2020 Some stakeholders in nation building have called on youths to be more patriotic and responsible, beginning from their communities so that they could help to move the country forward.
They made the call at the “Patriotic Youths Conference 2020” held on Thursday in Lagos to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the event tagged, “Raising the Next Generation of Leaders”’ is aimed at at promoting patriotism, zeal and determination among youths in order to contribute to the development of the nation.
Commenting, the Convener of the event, Mr John Osinnowo said the psyche of the average Nigerian youth had been affected by series of events that had left them nonchalant to the development of the country.
He, however, said that government on all levels, parents and teachers had a huge role to play in the area of value reorientation that would act as a wake up call to the youth.
Osinnowo said: “The government has to create an enabling environment; build infrastructure, construct roads, provide sports facilities for young people to thrive.
“We have youths with talents and skills. Take sports as an instance, if there are no standard facilities for them to thrive, how can they compete favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world?
“Government policies also affect education. It should review the curriculum and method of teaching, the philosophy that guides the activities of teachers should be looked into. They should have the right values.”
The Councillor of Ward K, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Mr Adewumi Ogunshina, cautioned youths against shunning politics if they really want to change things in the political sphere.
According to him, the destiny of Nigerian youths are in their hands and they have the capacity to move the nation forward, if only they will take the bull by the horn.
“Being a politician doesn’t make you a bad person. If you refuse as an educated person to be part of politics, definitely those who are not capable will continue to rule,” he said.
Also, Mr Emmanuel Ajaere said the major challenge with Nigerian youths was the inability to take up responsibility.
Ajaere, who is an engineering student and a teacher, said Nigerian youths needed to discover themselves so that they can be awakened to their responsibilities to become better citizens.
“Enlightenment, education can help youths by setting them on the path of self-discovery.
“We have youths who don’t read rather you find them on the streets, smoking and drinking. If they don’t discover themselves first, how can they add value to the nation,” he said.
Ajaere appealed to youths to stop blaming the government but to look inward to see what they could do legally to help themselves and their communities.
Ifeanyi Ebede, one of the students at the event, said she was motivated to be a change agent and would start by being more responsible to needs within her neighbourhood.