Group seeks social, political rights for young Nigerians


BY BABAGANA K. M, AUGUST 03, 2022 | 08:50 PM

The Nigerian Emerging Leaders Forum (NELF), a youth-based organisation, has called for better social, democratic and political rights of young Nigerians, to foster inclusiveness in governance.

The group made the call at its inaugural news briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ms Maryam Ahman, National Publicity Secretary of the group, said that Nigerian youths are present in different areas in the world; as such they should be given opportunity of leadership positions.

She added that to become change agents, Nigerian youths must believe in themselves as they must shun bitterness, political differences, gender and ethno-religious differences.

According to her, to achieve the much desired inclusion of youths in the socio-political sphere in the country, the group will be focusing on its five-point agenda.

“The first is to lead the future today, where we address the inter-generational leadership gap in Nigeria by activating holistic capacity development initiatives for the transformative leadership of a new Nigeria.

“Secondly, to have collective responsibility for our renewal, where we mobilise young Nigerians to be active participants in economic, social and political development of Nigeria across all sectors.

“Thirdly, one Nigeria, where we advocate for free, fair, credible and peaceful 2023 elections as well as the indivisibility of Nigeria.

“Fourthly, to be citizens led which is to advance citizens focused initiatives that promote accountability in governance, active citizenship and collective action for the actualisation of new Nigeria in our lifetime.

“Lastly, prepare, engage and activate the potential of young people as drivers of Nigeria’s economic transformation by leveraging the digital revolution and educational reminisce,” she said.

She added that the Forum would work by ensuring young people would not only ask for seats at the table but prepare to take the seat through learning and mentorship of the older generation.Mr Alkasim Muhammad, National Convener, NELF, said the group was made up of young people from different fields that came together on ‘self-service’ to promote national development.

“This is a self-service, we want to offer our own service for free to enable the country develop as we want to see Nigeria become a greater country in Africa.

“We owe this country a lot because this is the only country we have, so we have to stay back and ensure that this country becomes a better country,” he said.

On the 2023 elections, he called on politicians to avoid vote-buying, rigging and whatever might hinder a free and credible election.

“Everybody should do the right thing, let the country’s interest come first before anyone, let the people’s interest come first before personal interest.

“A politician should know that you cannot govern trees, you have to govern human beings, so when they say yes, accept their yes and when they say no, accept their no,” he added.

On his part, Mr Olalekan Oshunkoya, National Advisor, Partnership, NELF, added that the group would be coming up with initiatives that would prepare young Nigerians to become good leaders.

“We will ensure that through different initiatives from our five-point agenda, we will deliver the next set generation of leaders that are consensual, intentional, transformative and visionary.

“The leaders that will look beyond the current situation in Nigeria where majority of Nigerians are proud to be Nigerians,” he said.


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