Young Nigerian journalists have identified corruption and insecurity as major threats to the development of the nation’s youth.
In a press statement issued to mark the 2012 International Youth Day, the National President and Secretary of the Nigerian Young Journalists Forum, Ayodele Samuel and Zacheaus Somorin, lamented that the twin monsters are killing the dreams of Nigerian youths although they constitute over 60 percent of the country’s estimated 165 million population.
Drawing attention to the theme of the event, “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth,’ they described the present as the best and the worst of times for Nigerian youths.
“In a way, young people are the new masters of the universe,” the statement said. “From the United States to Europe and the Middle East we see young people on the streets negotiating the nature of the world they live in. The collapse of corrupt autocracies in what is now memorialized as the ‘Arab Spring’ signifies how the combination of youthful vigor and smart technology extends the possibilities of establishing democracy.”
Turning to Nigeria, they noted that while insecurity, poverty and hopelessness stalk the landscape, opportunity and prosperity nevertheless beckon through fruitful partnership and hope.
Urging governments at every level to engage the youth through programmes that will positively impact their lives and communities, the young journalists stressed that a thoroughly empowered youth will enhance the development of its community. They pointed, in this regard, to the tremendous exploits of Nigerian youths across the globe, which they described as a sign of the enormous potential that the nation’s youth is endowed with.
The statement said, “The government should create employments for our teeming unemployed youths and also ensure that the business environment is more conducive for them. There should be a re-activation of our manufacturing sector which has been moribund over the decades; introducing spirit of entrepreneurship and self-development by providing stable and secured environments where small business thrived.”
The group also called on the nation’s youths to stand against corruption; to embrace strong and positive moral values, and to continue to engage the government and policy makers on issues geared towards positive change in Nigeria.
“We must embrace our moral values to bring Nigeria back on track, no doubt corruption has finished our nation but it’s a responsibility to secure the future; government and its institutions are failing to provide a better tomorrow for its noble leaders, we have the strength, we must develop the zeal to shun corruption,” the statement said.