Some youth groups on Sunday called for youth inclusiveness in the nation’s polity to drive the desired progress and development.
Mr Nonso Orakwe, Convener, Vote Not Fight, South East Region, who spoke on behalf of the groups, made the call while addressing newsmen in Awka, to make the 2022 International Youth Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that International Youth Day is marked every Aug. 12 to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community.
The theme for the 2022 commemoration is “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages”.
Orakwe said that 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 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 realise 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 institutions 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 to youth programmes.