BY USMAN MOHAMMED, JANUARY 19, 2022 | 06:40 PM
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, has called for the engagement of youths in governance to facilitate a peaceful and conducive environment for economic growth and political stability.
Mr Irabor said this at a Youth and Security Summit organised by the Abuja Global Shapers, AGS, with the theme “Building Trust for an Improved Security Response in Nigeria” on Wednesday, in Abuja.
According to him, in the reverse a decrease in the level of youth interaction and alienation in the decision-making processes and developmental activities would result in increase in violent crimes, anarchy and political instability.
He said this would lead to destruction of critical infrastructures, loss of livelihoods and by extension, retardation in the economy and impinged national security.
“Thus, it is essential that youths know, understand and imbibe certain core values and qualities that would guide them into being positively engaged towards enhanced national security.
“An ideal youth should be honest, patriotic, hard-working and disciplined with the inculcation of honesty in the youth, the incidences of social vices would be reduced.
“A patriotic youth will desist from corrupt conduct because he/she knows that corruption is inimical to national development.
“An ideal youth should therefore do only those things that would promote the good name of his family, community, state and country,’’ he said.
Mr Irabor said that the youth and security summit meant that youth’s population in Nigeria have a lot to contribute to the national development and more importantly the armed forces and to national security.
He said this was because the current challenges required the effort of the whole of society and youth’s population constituted the largest part of citizens.
“So, if we have men and women of like minds like the Abuja Global Shapers, then of course we will be making the right decisions and making the right analysis.
“These will lead to recommendations that will help government agencies and other stakeholders to take certain steps that will advance the cause of peace, security and development in Nigeria,’’ he said
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, represented by the Technical Adviser, Deputy Commandant, Ibiloye Oluyemi, commended the Global Shapers for initiating a summit on how youths could contribute to security.
Mr Aregbesola said that it was imperative that the country was equipped with best practices to strengthen the security of the Nigeria to ensure that trust and improved security was re-instated.
“One thing is certain, we will overcome the current predicament and Nigeria will indeed be great again.
“I greatly value the initiative of bringing people of value to put young people at the national security conversations and to improve collaboration between security agencies and to discuss important matters that will improve civil-military relation,” he said.
Mr Aregbesola said that this would serve as a booster towards nation building and pledge the ministry’s support to the initiative.
Sen. Foster Ogola, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information and Communication Technology and Cybercrime, said youths today, were engaged in a lot of things both good and bad.
Mr Ogola, therefore, urged them to strive to develop the good side by channeling their efforts to activities that would promote the nation adding that the senate is ready to support the promotion of digital education.
He added that the National Assembly was in support of youth developing and is working with universities to develop a curriculum for digital education.
He said that this would enable youths to be empowered with digital component alongside their course of study, so that when they graduate they would not be begging for employment on the roads.
Abuja Global Shapers Hub Curator, Umar Abdulmalik, said that the security situation in the country had been in a serious decline and it was very appalling to see that people could not move around and do things peacefully.
“So, we at AGS decided to step to the occasion because we have a platform that can bring youths and security agencies together to resolve all the peace issues.
“So we held this dialogue to ensure that we proffer solutions to the security challenges we are facing in Nigeria and see how youths can be involved as solution providers.’’
Mr Abdulmalik said that although people use youths to perpetuate evils but no all youths were bad, so AGS was working to bring in that good aspect of youths to overpower the bad side.
This, he said was by creating job opportunities, capacity development and activities that would help to bring about sustainable peace and security to Nigeria.
He said that AGS with a decade-long ear of impact had impacted over 1000 youths and facilitated dialogues that had catalysed policy reforms and successfully nurtured a thriving community of high-achieving change makers among other activities.
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