By Raphael Ekpang
As the rest of African countries celebrate the 2019 Africa Youth Day, the federal government of Nigeria has joined the rest of the African countries to celebrate the Nigerian Youths who have contributed meaningfully in the advancement and development of Africa
The permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Olusade Adesola while addressing news men in Abuja on Friday said that though some of the youths may have been engaged in perpetrating some of the vices in the continent, he stressed that their contributions towards Africa development is great and so deserved to be celebrated and recognized.
”The Youths in Africa are doing much to support the growth and development of Africa. On the low side youths are also contributing much denigrating the continent. When there are crisis who are more involved in the crisis,” he queried.
“Is it not the youths? Either as actors or persons engaged to perpetrate those vices. While few of Africa Youths have been engaged in this, majority of Africa youth are doing great and incredible work. We have Nigeria youths that have blazed the trail in development activities in the continent.”
“Therefore, Africa Union deemed it appropriate that a day be set aside to celebrate and recognize these Africa Youths. Prior to 2019, this recognition has only been observed as day event, but for 2019 a decision was taken to make it a much long program. Taking cognizance of the importance accorded to our youths that a day is not just enough to celebrate them, to recognize their achievements and accomplishment but be done through a month event.
“So, Nigeria too is joining the rest of Africa countries to accord recognition to the achievements, contributions and to drive the Africa youths towards achieving the goal that is set for the continent as part of the global or continental program. So, to us in Nigeria this commemoration is significant because it draws recognition to our youths and the role they are playing in the continent,” he said.
On the efforts of the Youth and Sports Ministry to domesticate the ideas of the Africa Youth Day, the permanent Secretary said, “It is important that the celebration be domesticated but not just as an imposition by the Africa Union but we should see it as our own so that we can recognize our youths.
“For us in Nigeria, we have always used the opportunity of the celebration to bring to the front burner priority and peculiar issues that concern Nigeria youths. For us in the ministry, we are quite concern about the state of affairs of our National youth council of Nigeria.
“The Youth and Sports minister has been working round the clock to see this youth organ; this mouth piece of the youth is brought back to fame. It should come back to its proper position so that it can represent the Nigeria youth, to be truly the voice of the youth. In the ministry for instance, our youth parliament functioning.
“The first session is organized, the first sitting of the first session will be held in December. What does this show? It shows that we are bringing the voice of the youth, we want them to be heard, and we want to see many of them becoming active leadership position,” he concluded.