By: Emmanuel Ulayi.
The young, vibrant Dr Betta Edu spoke on the floor of the UN House in Abuja Nigeria, amongst other young persons invited by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed for an interactive engagement and intergenerational dialogue to explore innovative solutions to the challenges faced by Nigeria’s teeming youth in the key areas of economic empowerment, health, education, gender equality, governance, #EndSARS Protest and climate change.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed has called on the Government of Nigeria to dialogue more with the youths to avoid a repeat of the EndSARS Protest in Nigeria. Dialogue and proper communication is important to understand the youths. She said it is now obvious to all the Leaders in Nigeria that the right things has to be done in a transparent manner because the young ones are ready to hold Government and Leadership at all levels accountable.
This generation will bring the “must happen in Nigeria” the Youth should come back stronger together learning from the experience of the end SARS protest to fix the system. Ms. Amina said this is the most constructive conversation She has held this year with youths. “with the people I see in this room today, we have hope in this country, this young persons can stand shoulder to shoulder with other youths anywhere in the world.” “Government should do all in its power to rebuild the lost trust! My generation needs to apologize profusely to the younger generation for the religious and ethnic divide in the country. Our strength actually lies in our diversity”
Speaking Dr Betta Edu said young Nigerians can drive sustainable development by forging new pathways to inspire social progress and political change as we Build a new and better Nigeria. We have the numbers to drive positive leadership and Development in the country. Over 20 million Nigerian youths are registered voters and more can still get their PVCs before 2023.
Dr Edu said young people are only clamoring for the basics in Nigeria and if the government can listen, things will get better. “ Government should provide the basic; education, Healthcare, power, Employment and security. It is difficult to create a future or a conducive environment for a people you do not understand to thrive, it’s difficult for older leaders to understand the thinking of young people or proffer appropriate solutions for young people. The way out of this is inclusion; give young people seats at the decision making table, improve their capacity and let their voices be heard!
Nigeria need internship programs for young people at all levels, this will improve their skills, competence and employability to help us compete favorably well. Encourage our young people to go into innovative technology that could proffer solutions to challenges in the country. Furthermore the Nigerian Constitution doesn’t protect the youths as it is, Gender violence issues and several other things that affect the youth are not reflected in that document. It needs a reform now.
Other speakers include the Minister for Youth and sport and the Minister for Women Affairs who pleaded with the youths not to lose faith in Government. The also outlined some of the programs of the present administration targeted at improving the lot of young people in the country.
Many young people spoke from all over the world via zoom online while others sent in several messages in a bid to get their voices heard.