By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
A political expert, Dr. Olufemi Badru, has called on Nigerian leaders to always give room for the youth to have a say in nation-building, pointing out that Nigerian youth have been largely sidelined in almost every sphere of the country’s national issues.
He made the call at the weekend while delivering a lecture at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, on the theme: “Nigerian Youth and the Challenge of Nation Building,” at an event organised by the Students’ Union of the institution.
Making reference to Chapter 6, Section 131(b) of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, where it was stated that: “No person shall become the President of Nigeria, unless he attained the age of forty years,” Dr. Badru stated that the quoted part of the constitution obviously showed that no person could even contest, not to say, be voted for to become the president of the Nigerian state if he/she has not attained the mandated age.
“Moreover, the rate of unemployment among the Nigerian youth is very disheartening, given that it might psychologically condition them to engage in anti state activities.
“Similarly, the high level of moral decadence among the Nigerian youth, partly occasioned by the general bankruptcy of their parents, also vitiates the sense of civic commitment, on the part of the youth, to the survival and development of the Nigerian state,” he pointed out.
In proffering solution the myriad of challenges confronting the youth, Dr. Badru, a senior lecture in the department of Politics and International Relations of Lead City University, Ibadan, listed some measures which included re-orientation of the Nigerian youth, creation of employment opportunities for them and fighting corruption at all levels of government by public office holders.
The don also tasked parents to reject ideas and values such as gross selfishness and dishonesty that are hitherto against the acceptable societal norms from their children.
“These values, experience has shown, tend to lead to social cohesion, rather social division,” he added.