By: Esther Asoanya

Nigerian youths have been admonished to remain focused and embrace education in order to gain more knowledge and redeem the country from her present political and socio-economic predicament. This was the summary of the presentations by different speakers at a two-day workshop on reformation of political process in Nigeria recently organized in Awka by-  Centre for Strategic Leadership and Youth Orientation,  a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).  The workshop which aimed at strengthening action of the Youths towards institutionalized good governance at all levels attracted a good number if youths from Anambra State and beyond.

In his address, the member representing Nnewi North South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency, Hon. Chris Azubogu attributed the problem of good Governance in the country to absence of accurate data base, saying that government needs to know the number of its citizens to be able to plan and cater for their wellbeing.

On the process of policy formation and implementation, the Law maker said there is need for government to promote Citizen participation and Civil Society Organization and ensure that both the government and the citizens are involved in policy making. He added that when the citizens are involved in policy making, they take ownership; making enforcement, implementation and compliance easy.

He called on the country’s youths to remain focused and dedicated to their education which is the power they have to change the system, and shun any act that could distract or mar their future. His words: “Since I was I child I keep hearing youths are leaders of tomorrow, up till now the slogan still rings and youths are nowhere to be found in the decision and policy making arena of governance; how then would they lead.  The same old people are the ones ruling with the same old style of governance. Youths have to wake up from slumber and take up what belongs to them”.

Speaking on the role of education in nation building, Professor Stella Okunna admonished youths to shun restiveness and embrace education in order to gain more knowledge and be able to fight for their rights. She declared:  “This is the time to take up what belongs to you and as youths, the struggle you are embarking on is not meant for lazy, illiterate or push around youths. You need boldness, courage and knowledge, so you need to be properly equipped and education and knowledge are the only tools to guarantee that.”

She regretted the poor utilization of Millennium Development Goal Strategy (MDGS) of the United Nation, by the Nigerian Government, saying that it is only few states in Nigeria that met up at 70%, describing it as negligence on the side of government.

The Traditional Ruler of Newgu, Igwe George Okala, in his own address urged youths to brace up for the challenge ahead and engage themselves in meaningful ventures. He regretted the leadership style of country’s leaders and its effect on the people, describing the youths as the only agent for the change needed in the system.

“The truth is that people no longer have confidence in government, but we cannot fold our arms watch the system deteriorate; it is the youths that will rise up with one voice and said enough is enough and the time is now “. He said.

Igwe Okala commended the efforts of the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano at empowering  Anambra youths through the government’s various skill acquisition programmes and urged the youths to always key into these programmes to be self-reliant instead of waiting for white collar job which is not easy to come by.

On the need for Voter education, the Programme Director, Centre for Strategic Leadership and Youth Orientation, comrade Uche Mmadubuko said there is urgent need for constant education of the electorate on their rights to vote, as well as the implications of vote buying which has taken centre stage in election process in Nigeria.

In an address the founder and initiator of the programme, Comrade Imah Felix said the aim of the workshop was to draw the attention of the youths on the need to set a fundamental process of mainstreaming Ndi Igbo into a harmonious political structure as they are in nowhere in the present

political structure of the country. He added that it will form a land scape of transforming Nigeria’s political structure into an al inclusive government.

On the choice of the topic Reformation of political process in Nigeria, the initiator said because they believe in promoting credible and inclusive elections at all levels by supporting national

efforts for legal reforms that will establish independent management bodies in planning, monitoring and budgeting as well as support voter and civic education; among other essential factors. He regretted that Nigeria political process still lacks the qualities that can produce the kind if leaders that would be committed to serving the people that elected them into office.

Comrade Imah, called on the Youth to stand their ground and shun being used by some of these politicians who have no plan for them, and maintain their fight for good governance through their voters card and ensure they vote in people of proven character who have all it takes to make policies that will promote good governance irrespective their party platform and influence.

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