From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Youths in Enugu State have said that they would not watch the political activities of 2023 from the sidelines as they commenced sensitisation for awareness creation with a view to mobilising full participation in the process.
At the maiden edition of Enugu youth stakeholders’ roundtable organised by Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Advocacy (LEAD) Network, the youths were divided on the issue of zoning governorship position in the state among the three senatorial districts.
They unanimously agreed to create more impact in the next general election through direct participation as candidates.
Executive Director of LEAD Network Chukwuma Okenwa said the youths also have interests in the areas of financial capacity building that would lead to practical political party participation.
In a no-holds-barred conversation, the youths further agreed that leadership capacity building was important to prepare them for challenges of leadership if they eventually take over power from the older generation whom they said had controlled the levers of power for too long and should allow them to continue from where they stopped.
‘The most important thing in the roundtable discussion which continues is that Enugu youths agreed that they must play a key role in the 2023 general elections, we won’t be bystanders and we keep the conversation going until 2023.
‘The issue of zoning was an extraneous factor, even though it tended to dominate our discussion because of the passion, but that is not the main focus of conversation because political participation is more important for us.
‘The discussion is that we are mobilising for the process; how do the young people come in? Should we submit ourselves as vessels in the hands of these elderly politicians without really being interested or becoming policymakers?
‘We also reviewed that in practical governance, as things stand and in the buildup of 2023, what should be the narrative, how should the young person begin to engage, to build capacities, either joining political parties to run or finding a business to do to build the financial capacities, being able to change the narrative within the internal system,’ Okenwa said.
Okenwa explained that he was prompted into organising the roundtable because political conversations were hitting up in the social media and in group gatherings, hence the youths agreed that it was needless sounding with discordant tunes and decided to get everybody involved by inviting different youth groups in the three senatorial zones.