A House of Representatives member, Joseph Akinlaja has backed youth participation in Nigeria’s democratic governance and practices.
Speaking at the Democracy Day lecture organised by the Student Union Government, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Mr Akinlaja said youth participation in democratic set up is not a question of choice as such responsibility is key to nations building.
“I challenge you all not to limit yourself as to the extent you can go in contributing to Nigeria’s democracy, but be active in your identified area of strength and do your best as a bit of what you can contribute to the advancement of Nigeria’s democracy and the development of Nigeria at large.”
The Ondo-born legislator also noted that Nigerian youths must take charge, do the talking as well as the acting.
Defining the role of youths in democratic dispensation, Mr Akinlaja noted that participation in democracy goes beyond politics and extends to areas as civil rights campaign, Education Rights Movement, Health and Environmental Vanguard, Entrepreneurship, Community Development Groups and many others.
“Politics is just one section; there are more sectors where you as a youth can be more useful and instrumental to national development and democratic advancement in Nigeria,” Akinlaja said.
Speaking further, the lawmaker noted that the two key roles of Nigerian youths in gaining political power are establishment of formidable youth structures and providing intermediate political link.
“There is need for unity of purpose among youths if the agitation for taking over is taken serious. If youths that constitute about 70% of Nigeria’s population can build a viable and formidable structure, it won’t take a year to democratically dismantle the old order,” Akinlaja submitted.