BY TEMI OHAKWE, ABUJA – As the country marks its 60th Independence anniversary, the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), has said that Nigeria is not beyond recovery as a sovereign nation.

This is as the NYU also declared that the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria cannot be complete without giving account of the roles that Nigerian youths played so far in six decades.

President of NYU, Chinonso Obasi, who stated these, noted that one of the major reasons the youth Union was birthed is to help Nigeria rediscover herself by mobilising, motivating and assisting youths across the country to become more patriotic and stay conscious of their environment to participate in developmental issues that will lead to repositioning Nigeria.

Obasi said that the youths have recognised that youths in across the country, after the 60 years, have been at the receiving end of what he described as very “bad leadership” from those they have bestowed the hope to make the environment conducive for them.

He further said; “Nigeria is not beyond recovery. What is beyond recovery is the fact that those who have lost ideas are still in charge of our affairs and that is one of the reasons that has metamorphosed into the existence of NYU.

“Nigeria in our own view has not done so well in the past 60 years, well in the sense that the same crop of leaders who have been there since 60 years ago have been the persons who are still there now.

“If they are doing well, there would have been a generational shift. Having set the foundation, it is now left for those who laid the blocks or those who will make the roofing or the tenants to take over the job,” he said.

He identified a vacuum created in issues relating to youths in the country, saying there is need for proper leadership for Nigerian youths, who are between the ages of 18 and 35.

Obasi acknowledged the presence of other youth groups in the country as well as professional bodies, adding however that none of the groups advocate for the well-being of the youth but rather cater for the welfare of their members.

In his words; “We have resolved along different youth organisations in the country and have come together to say we recognised other youth association in the country, we recognised youth NGOs in the country. But we have discovered that there is a leadership vacuum for the Nigerian youths. That vacuum is leadership” he added

He further said; “We recognised the presence of Nigerian Labour Congress, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Academic Staff Union of polytechnics, Nigeria Bar Association as unions that are championing for the general well-being of their members, but in the youth constituency we have much vacuum that no such entity is existing”.

Obasi assured that the NYU will champion the general well-being of Nigeria youth, strengthen democracy and also stand for the defense of human rights.

According to him; “Today, we have had a lot of Non-governmental organisations, youth associations that are claiming to be speaking for the welfare of Nigeria youth, but all that is not true. They have all become puppet under the government finding politicians’ patronage”.

The union said the birth of NYU is the way of appreciating Nigeria at 60 as well as a way of filling the leadership vacuum for the vibrant youths of the country, stressing that it was time for Nigeria youths to take charge of the affairs of their nation.

“All of us from different youth groups and association have come together as individuals to say we want a new youth platform as our way of appreciating Nigeria at 60 and as a way of identifying the vacuum that have been created in the youth constituency”

“We are going to engage with our people, we have realised that the pride of the youths lies in their strength, but when this strength is channeled through irrelevant things it will yield no result but when it is channeled on purposeful agenda, you will get result.

“We have recognised our strength and our strength is that we are young and vibrant, therefore it is not time to sleep, it is time for us to bring our strength together, channel it to get result that will better the welfare of youths and also to take care of Nigeria.

“Therefore, we will use this platform for the welfare and political inclusion of the young person, we will use this platform to also charge our leaders especially those who want the strength of the youths to win election to say yes we will support you but we also need your support to rise. It won’t be business as usual of buying us,” he added

The NYU President also said that the Union will check mate the incessant industrial action embarked on by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Academic Staff Union of polytechnics and other academic bodies.

He called for proper harmonisation saying such actions must henceforth be in interest if all parties including students.

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