By Lucky Isibor
Youths in Niger Delta have been urged to prove to Nigerian leaders and elders that they are capable of taking over the leadership of the nation and that they are not lazy.
The National Coordinator for Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), Comrade Joseph Gbale gave the admonition in a welcome address on the occasion of the 1st Edo Youth summit tagged “Akugbe 2018”, held Thursday at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin City, Edo state.
He disclosed that the the summit was aimed at reawakening the consciousness of youths to know that the time for them to take the centre stage and make Edo state great has come.
While urging the youths to come together, Gbale urged them to shun divisive inclinations such as ethnicity and religion which he described as artificial problems created by some politicians to perpetuate themselves in the corridors of power and appealed to them to imbibe the spirit of patriotism.
According to him, “We must realize that patriotism means one’s love for his or her country or state. We must imbibe the spirit of of patriotism, we must also demand and tell our leaders that they have used their time and it is our turn to use ours. We must realize that we are Edo Youths and we must prove to them that we we are not lazy.
“We decided to organize this summit in order to reawaken the consciousness among our youth that the time for us to take the centre stage and make Edo state great is now, but most fundamentally, in doing so, we must come together, putting aside religion and ethnicity because these are the banes that has taken us back as a nation”.
He urged the youths to realize the imperative of unity, emphasising that lack of unity is largely responsible for the inability of the younger generation to take power from the older generation of leaders.
Governor Godwin Obaseki who was represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Mika Amanokhai said that the present administration’s penchant for skill acquisition by the youths necessitated the ongoing renovation of Benin Technical College and complete overhaul of technical education in Edo state to enhance the employability of those who will acquire skills there.
He disclosed that the state government is partnering some European countries to give Benin Technical College international accreditation such that products of the college will have job mobility and can apply and be employed to work in any part of the world from Edo state.
The governor also disclosed that the State College of Agriculture is undergoing restructuring to enhance the training of agricultural entrepreneurs who on graduation can employ themselves and create employment for others.
Speaking to the topic, “Investing in education, agriculture and capacity building, a tool for economic development and wealth creation”, Dean of Faculty of Arts, University of Benin, Professor Eddy Erhagbe, deployed the emphasis on politics by our present day youths just as other legitimate pursuit in education, agriculture, skill acquisition and other areas of human endeavours are relegated to the background.
While urging the youths to go back to agriculture, the Benin Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Mailafia Yakubu, said that the closure of the textile industries in northern Nigeria and the attendant loose of jobs is traceable to the abandonment of agriculture and urged the youths to embrace agriculture as a means of creating employment.
Earlier in her opening remarks, chairman on the occasion, Mrs. Betty Igbeyi who was represented by Mrs. Victoria Ikpotokin, thanked the youths for their peaceful disposition in the face of injustice where resources from the Niger Delta are being deployed for the development of other areas while the Niger Delta region alone suffers the effects of the exploitation of the resources.