By Laleye Dipo
A university Don, Professor Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, has opined that for Nigeria to achieve sustainable growth and development, young Nigerians should be given their rightful position in leadership of the country.
Yahaya also warned that the youths should no longer be used “as agents of chaos” but as “potential drivers of political, economic and social development of the country.”
Delivering a keynote address at a ‘Youth Leaders’ Summit’ organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for its youth leaders and representatives of various youth groups in the Niger South senatorial zone of Niger State last Sunday the professor of Agricultural and Development Communication at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, regretted that: “Young people have over the years been neglected; they have been used during elections and dumped afterwards.
“It is not the future, but the youths should belong to the present, and they must begin to take responsibility.”
In the keynote address with the theme: ‘Nurturing and Mentoring Youths for Leadership and Governance’, the university lecturer, however, observed that the older generation are afraid of not conceding power to the young people because of “the fear of the unknown, particularly about issues of understanding the intricacies of what it takes to be in leadership.”
In addition, he submitted that the older generation is skeptical about handing over leadership to the youths because of the belief that the youths did not understand “what it takes to provide good governance in terms of administrative acumen and in terms of understanding the etiquettes of leadership.”
The professor, therefore, emphasised the need for youths to be “mentored and nurtured” for the leadership of the country, saying: “Nurturing and mentoring is contagious in breeding relationships that energise towards becoming the best in life.”
He further submitted that mentoring is an effective way to nurture and achieve advancements in transformation of the country, pointing out that “people who have gone through mentoring usually advance faster, and are more productive and better accustomed to navigating the complexities of the environment they operate in.”
Yahaya, therefore, yielded that the Nigerian youths are important to the society because: “They are young, full of energy, educated and rational.”
In his address, the state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, also emphasised the important role youths play in any society, saying with their population and education, they can make the difference in any society.
Bello, who was represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr. Ibrahim Ebbo, said his administration would continue to accord the youths and women top preference in the execution of government policies and programmes.