Senators Eyinnaya Abaribe, Rochas Okorocha, Orji Kalu, and others say they will work towards ensuring that youths clinch the presidential position and other key posts in the 2023 general elections.
The Senators disclosed this at a one-day summit and award recognition programme of the Nigerian Diaspora Youth Ambassador (NDYA) on Thursday in Abuja.
Abaribe, the Senate Minority Leader, said that the National Assembly is working on ways to enhance youths' participation in politics.
He said that the time has come for youths to begin to save the country, adding “we cannot run away from the fact that today we are not having the best of everything, although we are trying to find the solutions.
“The most difficult of all the problems is that of violence and insecurity being experienced in Nigeria.
“The National Assembly is at the moment doing a constitutional review to look at all the parts of our constitution that need to be amended for the good of everyone.
“We are also looking at ways to give expanded space to youths to be part of governance in Nigeria. The youths can be involved, and that is why I commend the youths in the Diaspora for supporting youths in Nigeria.
“Nigerians in the Diaspora remit 25 to 30 per cent revenue to support those in the country and this makes them a part of the growth of Nigeria,’’ he said.
Abaribe urged youths to put Nigeria first in all they do as the legislators would keep supporting them.
He advised the Diaspora youths to participate in whatever is happening in the country and always communicate global best practices to them.
He said that this would help in guiding them to make the right decisions and choose good leaders regardless of parties and region because electing the wrong candidates will have grave consequences.
“No matter what happens, let us remember that we are all Nigerians and the future will be great when we make the right choices,’’ he said.
Rochas Okorocha, Senator representing Imo West, said that this generation of youths is the group the nation has been waiting for, adding that there has been a vacuum that only the youths can fill and rewrite the nation’s history.
“You are the very group of people we have been waiting for to correct our mistakes and build a Nigeria of our collective dreams.
“There is a vacuum in Nigeria and this nation is waiting for youths to rewrite the history of Nigeria.
“If youths can come together to say we want to take the presidency, no matter what, they will do it because they stand to succeed in unity,’’ he said.
Okorocha urged youths to be focused and stop procrastinating to do what should be done now because all hopes are not lost as youths still have a space in the history of the land.
He said that there is no need to wait for white-collar jobs, saying that should create their own jobs and own their lives with the great vision they have.
He encouraged youths to come together regardless of religion, region, and party to attack their challenge of becoming leaders in Nigeria.
“If you must succeed, you must do teamwork like the lion to bring down the elephant called leadership, united you can achieve anything, just like the lion that has its strength in unity.
“Don’t give up, continue to persist and you can take the presidency in 2023.”
Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, represented by Dr Obasi Igbokwe, his Senior Legislative Aide, said that the national assembly identifies with the youths.
Kalu said that was why he sponsored the National Food Tank of Nigeria bill aimed at ensuring that Nigerian citizens, especially youths, have a sense of empowerment.
He said that the bill, when signed into law, would enable graduates to present their certificates as collateral to take loans of up to N5 million from banks for agricultural purposes.
This, he said, is to ensure that Nigeria’s future towards food security is preserved and it will also arm the youths with economic empowerment, thereby reducing crimes in Nigeria.
Mr. Almustapha Abdulahi, former President of, National Youths Council of Nigeria, encouraged youths to be dogged, love one another, and reject things that would cause division among them.
Abdulahi said it is imperative because only oneness of purpose and becoming law-abiding citizens will help Nigeria to grow and afford them the opportunity to lead.
Mr. Victor Anozie, Convener, NDYA summit and award programme, said the event was aimed at creating a meeting point between youths in the diaspora and those in Nigeria.
Anozie said that it was also aimed at empowering youths in Nigeria to grow like their Diaspora counterparts.
“We brought to Nigeria what we used in helping Diaspora youths, we saw that there was too much crime so we created skill acquisition to empower them and that has reduced the crime rate.
“We have explained it to youth leaders here so we will put heads together to see that we achieve our goal of creating jobs and wait for the government.
“So we have a skill acquisition we brought down to Nigeria to empower youths, NDYA is back home to put heads together with youths to make things work.’’
Anozie said that the youths needed to be empowered, saying “we wanted to teach them how to achieve what they achieved in the Diaspora.”
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