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INT’L YOUTH DAY: Group Call for Youth Inclusiveness in Nigeria’s Development



By Praise Chinecherem

“Vote Not Fight”, an advocacy group on Saturday called for youth inclusiveness in the nation’s polity to drive the desired progress and development.

Convener, Vote Not Fight, South East Region, Mr Nonso Orakwe who spoke on behalf of the groups, made the call in while addressing newsmen in Awka, to make the 2022 International Youth Day.

International Youth Day is marked every Aug. 12 to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community.

The theme for this  year’s commemoration is ‘Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages’.

Orakwe said the collaboration of youth innovation and the experience of the older generation could give Nigeria the stability it needed. 

“Nigeria needs to break the cycle of ageism for the voices of the youth to be heard. Intergenerational solidarity means bringing youth to the table. 

“It is the surest path to Nigeria’s much desired development, “he said. 

Orakwe also the Executive Director, Catch Them Young Community Initiative, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the judiciary to ensure a free, fair and credible election in 2023.

“As the 2023 general elections approach, let us reflect on our journey as a country and support young candidates.

“We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections to give hard working young candidates a real chance. 

“The judiciary must play their part to ensure that elections that are not credible are annulled.  This will give youth and other demographics an opportunity to reclaim subverted mandates. 

“As youth, we are mobilising our peers to vote enmasse and do so without violence. We must realize that our objectives to do well in the electoral process lies with working closely with allies from the older generation, ” he said .      

He commended youth groups for their campaigns to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institution and processes.

“The Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War and National Youth Agenda campaigns have been in the forefront of promoting peaceful elections in Nigeria. 

“The Not Too Young To Run movement helped remove constitutional age benchmarks which has created an opportunity for more inclusive governance processes in Nigeria.  

“The young and old must make personal commitments and take steps to overcome ageism, insecurity, electoral violence, youth unemployment and declining standards of education in the country. 

“We call on the government at all levels to take immediate steps to address these challenges, especially the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),” he said.

Orakwe appreciated the National Democratic Institute, the United States Agency for International Development and the Federal Commonwealth and Development Office for their support.

Other Youth group included Child Protection and Peer Learning Initiative (CPPLI), North-East Vote Not Fight Campaign partner, Fostering Achievement of Community Empowerment (FACE), South-south Vote Not Fight campaign partner.  

Others were Jesz Development Foundation (J-Dev), North-west Vote Not Fight campaign partner, The 2Baba Foundation, North-Central Vote Not Fight campaign partner, The New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGAWD) and Youth Hub Africa.

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