It is my pleasure to heartily felicitate with my fellow patriotic members of the Youth Constituency as we celebrate the International Youth Day (IYD) today themed, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”.
My fellow Constituents – the Nigerian Youth, as we commemorate the IYD today, I will not bore us with any long speech. It is a glaring reality that the Youth are the major proponents of development any where in the world. Suffice it to say that, any nation or society that neglects her Youth or impoverishes them is toying with her future and overall progress. Our roles as Youth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals are vital. “To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. Solidarity across generations is key to sustainable development.”
Unfortunately in Nigeria today, the Youth have been impoverished in all ramifications and intentionally sidelined. This is the plight of our dear nation as there seems to be no solidarity across generations; our leaders enjoyed their own generation but have cleverly encroached into our own generation, while keeping us aground. The next generation, after us, is already in quagmire as there are no solid preparations for posterity. Suffice it to say that, Nigeria lacks “solidarity across generations”.
My fellow patriotic Youth, should we allow the status quo to remain the way it is and pass same to posterity? I will comfortably answer for you; No, we shall not. Let’s rise up to change the status quo and lay solid foundation for posterity.
The 2023 general elections are at nigh; if we do not get it right this time, then, we have failed ourselves and posterity. Some of our fellow Youths – university students have been at home for several months now, our currency – the one time almighty naira has fallen and depreciated beyond imagination, security is currently at its worst since our independence, corruption is busy competing with insecurity to know which of them will be the first to murder our dear nation, unemployment and poverty have astronomically skyrocketed, to mention but a few. Compatriots, “there is hunger in the land; the rich also cry.”
As we celebrate our day today and as we prepare to elect credible leaders that will salvage our dear nation, come 2023, I leave us with the following admonitions:
1.) NEVER get discouraged, remain undaunted.
2.) Be mindful of the fact that nothing good comes easy; don’t expect an easy life and don’t toe the lane of easy life as it leads to doom.
3.) Most Politicians see us as tools for the actualization of their selfish interests; don’t be used – use your head.
4.) Don’t be bought over – don’t sell your voting power and right. Vote selling removes your rights to good governance from you; you have no moral justification to question any politician or hold them accountable when they buy your votes from you. Vote not money but “personality”. Tell them that your future, and that of posterity, is not for sale.
5.) Patriotism is the “watchword”; if we destroy this nation, we shall all suffer the consequences. Posterity will judge us all.
Once again, happy International Youth Day 2022. Let’s enjoy our day, responsibly.
Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor, Cmi.
Hon. Speaker, Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).
National Deputy Secretary General, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN).