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2015: Youths And Paradigm Shift Demand

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L-R: National Conference delegates, Dr A. B. C. Nwosu, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) and Musa Elayo, at the conference last Tuesday.

L-R: National Conference delegates, Dr A. B. C. Nwosu, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) and Musa Elayo, at the conference last Tuesday.

As the movement to
wards the 2015 general elections reaches a crescendo, the citizens are eagerly looking forward towards the election of credible leaders into different positions of authority.
While most citizens pray for the election of trustworthy leaders who will pilot the affairs of the nation in the next four years, Nigerians youths, however, express some reservations.
Some concerned youths note that in previous elections, young Nigerians were only engaged as thugs by some unscrupulous politicians to foment trouble.
They recall that some youths were also used to perpetrate electoral crimes such as ballot boxes’ snatching, harassment of political opponents, as well as riots and other forms of electoral violence.
Although available statistics show that Nigerian youths constitute 43 per cent of the nation’s population, most of the young citizens are largely unemployed and marginalised in the country’s political calculations.
However, the youth have somewhat resolved to rectify the situation in the forthcoming general elections in 2015.
They have vowed to resist the often-recycled retrogressive leaders of the country, while restructuring the nation’s political climate.
Mr Jude Imagwe, the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Youth and Student Matters, says that in 2015, Nigerian youths will brace to their expectations in efforts to transform Nigeria,
He, nonetheless, urges the youth to take advantage of their numerical strength by voting in credible leaders who would facilitate the transformation of the country.
Imagwe insists that through such concerted efforts, peace would reign in the country, while the dream of a better future for Nigerian youths would be achieved.
“Going by our numeral strength, we, the youth, dominate the electorate.
“Let us translate our superiority in numbers into voting in credible leaders who can stimulate the country’s transformation; those who can facilitate the fulfilment of our dreams.
“Above all, let us tell those persons, who feel that the only time we can be called upon is the time of destruction and violence, that enough is enough.
“Let us stop being used as agents of destruction, because the future of Nigeria belongs to our generation; we have more at stake than the older generation that wants to use us to destroy our country.
“So, the elders should allow us to enjoy peace and they give peace a chance,’’ he says.
Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Kenneth Okoineme, a Policy and Campaigns Officer for ActionAid, an international organisation, says that young Nigerians must find a way to redefine the agenda for the country’s development.
He stresses that the youth should use their numerical strength to set the agenda for good governance in Nigeria via their active participation in the country’s political processes, including elections.
“One of the challenges we have as youths is the kind of orientation we have today; we have a lot of young people who are not interested in how the country is being governed.
“We must provide spaces and platforms for the youth to come together and talk about nation-building strategies,’’ he says.
Okoineme says that Actionaid is using a platform known as “Activista’’ — a youth advocate group — to provide opportunities for young people to get together and discuss topical issues in their localities and proffer solutions.
However, Miss Bushrah Yusuf, a journalist, urges the youth to vote rightly and set aside every form of religious and ethnic sentiments in efforts to provoke positive changes in the country.
“We are expecting a positive turnaround in our country’s affairs but we ought to be the agents of change.
“So, we must stand up for the change by voting for the right candidates, irrespective of religious and ethnic sentiments; we must also eschew election violence,’’ she says.
Nevertheless, Mr Danielson Bamidele, the Secretary, Coalition of Nigeria Youths for Good Governance, insists that government and non-governmental organisations should mobilise Nigerian youths to refrain from violence and any form of electoral malpractices in 2015.
He underscores the need for the youth to get involved in intellectual and leadership activities as the 2015 election approaches, instead of being used as thugs.
Bamidele argues youth leaders to channel their energy into worthwhile ventures which would promote the inculcation of leadership qualities in young Nigerians, while grooming them for leadership positions in the country’s state of affairs.
Mrs Cornelia Paul, a 42-year-old school teacher, particularly decries a situation where youths are not encouraged to take up leadership positions in the country even when they are duly qualified for the posts.
“It is unfair, since my days in the primary school, our teachers made us to believe that we were the leaders of tomorrow and we eagerly looked forward to the fulfilment of that prophecy.
“But now, I’m almost a grandmother and my grandfather’s mates are still willing to rule us forever.
“They should please step aside and give the young ones a chance, the youth should at least constitute 30 per cent of the country’s ruling class,’’ she says.
However, Paul is not alone in the calls for more involvement of the youth in the country’s governance.
Dr Mourtada Deme, Project Director, United Nations Development Project (UNDP), made a similar call at a recent national youth conference on Democratic Governance and Development in Abuja,
He particularly urged Nigerian youths to participate in political activities.
While decrying the exploitation of youths by politicians, Deme advised political parties to strengthen youth participation in politics, saying: “Genuine political parties do not need a youth militia wing’’.
On the whole, observers believe that with the right information and environment, young Nigerians can thrive better in the political arena, as partners in the nation-building efforts.
They, nonetheless, note that factors such as unemployment, poverty and educational deficiencies are still militating against youth development aspirations in the country.
“If these factors, among others, are effectively tackled, Nigerian youths will be able to play dominant roles in the nation-building efforts,’’ some of the observers say.
Obande, writes for News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

 

Kate Obande

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Islamic Leaders Blame Nigeria’s Woes On Leadership Failure 

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Islamic leaders in Rivers State have blamed the underdevelopment and high level of poverty in Nigeria on greed and bad leadership.
They also  called for an end to the lingering political crisis in Rivers State.
The Islamic clerics who spoke to newsmen  at the just concluded Eidel Fitri prayers at the Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Niger Street, regretted the high level of poverty in the country inspite of the country’s enormous resources.
The Vice President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Awelegbe Uhor, condemned the lingering political crisis in the state, adding that, if not checked, the situation could derail development efforts.
Alhaji Uhor also stressed the need for the various political parties in the state to work with Governor Siminalaye Fubara to move the state foreward.
He said Governor Fubara meant well for the state, adding that Rivers Moslems were beneficiaries of the policies and programmes of the current administration in the state.
Alhaji Uhor, who blamed the ravaging poverty in the country on greed, noted Nigeria has enough resources to make every body rich in the country.
He also said that Nigeria did not need to vote for any president based on religion, adding that moslems and Christians had been ruling the country since independence and the situation had not changed.
Also speaking the leader of Rivers state Moslems, Alhaji Suleiman Akani, warned that Rivers Moslems would not tolerate any impeachment against Governor Fubara.
Alhaji Akani described Governor Fubara as one of the most Moslems friendly governor since the inception of the state.
He said the governor had not neglected the moslems community since the inception of his administration, stressing that some Moslem umars have been sponsored for pilgrimage by the administration.
According to him, “Apart from Odili, this is the most Moslems friendly governor.
We moslems have benefitted so much from the present administration in the state.”
On his part, the Chief Imam of the Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdul Malik Yahaya, called on Nigerians to cultivate the virtue of love for one another, stressing that the message of Salah was  about love for one another.
He also called on Moslems to show love, not only to fellow Moslems alone, but to  people of other faith as well.
Meanwhile the sole Administrator of the Rivers State Moslem Pilgrims welfare Board, Alhaji Abdul Rasaq Diepriye, has commended Governor Fubara for being the first governor in the country to sponsor Moslems to the Haj.
He said that it was the first time in several years that Rivers Moslems had felt a sense of belonging.
Alhaji Diepriye assured of the continuous support of the Moslem community to the administration.

By: John Bibor

 

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Rivers PDP Chieftain Hails Fubara’s Leadership Qualities

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A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Opobo/ Nkoro Local Government Area, Warisenibo  Tonye Fubara, has described Governor Siminalayi Fubara, his deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu and Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Rt. Hon Edison Ehie, as leaders with unbeatable transformational agenda.
Speaking with newsmen recently in Port Harcourt, Warisenibo Fubara said that they are astute, patriotic and typify leaders with quality mindset Nigerians, especially Rivers people yearn for, as far as purposeful, profit oriented and development -innovative governance is concerned.
He said: “Insecurity, political crisis, hunger and marginalization have become a cankerworms that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the oil and gas -rich state, in particular and the country in general.
He maintained that since Governor Siminalayi Fubara took over the mantle of leadership of the state in May, last year, till now, there has been relative peace across the state, noting that the political crisis in the state orchestrated by some mischief makers and greedy politicians was regrettable.
Warisenibo Fubara, a grassroot mobiliser in Opobo/Nkoro Ward 5, further hailed Governor Siminalayi Fubara, his Deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie for successfully triumphing over dictatorial leadership, describing them as “development pathfinders of our generation.”
He pointed out that Governor Fubara and his team were committed in the task of governing the state in the best interest of the state and  its people, not minding the negative and unproductive distractions of those who do not wish the state and its people well.
Meanwhile, Warisenibo Tonye Fubara has enjoined Rivers people to support Governor Siminalayi Fubara to provide the needed democratic dividends for all and sundry, adding that they should stand their ground to resist any attempt by the Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule -led Rivers State House of Assembly who threatened to impeach the Governor for vain glory and selfish ambition, without following the rule of law, as to please their pay masters.

By:   Bethel Toby

 

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Fubara’s Victory Thanksgiving: Semenitari Challenges Okocha Over Funding Allegation

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Former Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State,  Mrs Ibim Semenitari, has challenged the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha, to show proof that Governor Siminalaye Fubara is funding the thanksgiving services being held across the 23 local government areas in the state by the Simplified Movement.
Mrs Semenitari who said this during the thanksgiving service organized by the Okrika Local Government Area chapter of the Simplified Movement explained that the event was sponsored by simple people from the local government areas who are happy with the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the election victory of the governor.
She said what Rivers people should focus on his good governance, adding that Governor Fubara had shown commitment to keeping to his promises to Rivers people.
“The Rivers State Government is not spending a dime. I challenge him (Okocha) to bring out proof of Rivers State Government funding the thanksgiving service. It is a simple event funded by simple people”, she said.
Mrs Semenitari, who was also a one time Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the occasion was an opportunity for Rivers people to show appreciation to God for what He had done in Rivers State.
‘It is an opportunity to say to God, we are grateful; that we are grateful to God for the victory without rancour; we are grateful that we have the opportunity to celebrate a Governor who had a peaceful disposition. But beyond that, also a prayer by Rivers people that we are tired, we don’t want any more crisis.
“We want our state to progress. We have a Governor who is committed to driving development across every local government area. For us, that is what matters” she said.

By: John Bibor

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