From John Adams, Minna
A university don and former Secretary to Niger State Government, Professor Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, has said that for Nigeria to achieve sustainable growth and development young Nigerians should be given their rightful position in the leadership of the country.
Professor Yahaya said that to achieve this youths should no longer allow themselves to be used ‘as agents of chaos’ but as ‘potential drivers of political, economic and social development.’
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 the state, Kuta, a Professor 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 as thugs and dumped afterwards.’
He observed that ‘it is not the future, but now that belong to the young people and they must begin to take responsibility.’
In the keynote address, which had as its theme “Nurturing and Mentoring Youths for Leadership and Governance”, the university don however observed that the older generation is afraid of not conceding power to the young people because of 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 sceptical 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.’
Kuta emphasised the need for youths to be “mentored and nurtured” for the leadership of the country saying that ‘nurturing and mentoring is contagious in breeding relationships that energise towards becoming the best in life.’
He submitted that mentoring is an effective way to nurture and achieve advancements in the transformation of the country pointing out that ‘people who have gone through mentoring usually advance faster, are more productive and are better accustomed to navigating the complexities of the environment they operate in.’
Kuta submitted that the youths of a country are important to society because ‘they are young, full of energy, educated and rational.’
In an address to the event, State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello emphasised the important role youths play in any society, saying that with their population and education they can make a difference in any society.
Governor Bello, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr Ibrahim Ebbo, said his administration will continue to accord the youth and women top preference in the execution of government policies and programmes.