Prof. Dickson Akoh Receives an Award in Recognition of his contributions to youth development by Cambridge University, United Kingdom……..
The Chairman Board of Trustees of the National Youth Council of Nigeria and National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria has admonished the federal government to create an opportunity for people in the diaspora as well as inmates held in detection to participate in the election process by creating registration centres for them to register for their voter card and also cast their votes during elections.
Prof Akoh while speaking virtually as a discussant on the theme: the Active Inclusion of Women, Young people and the Diaspora in the Democratic Process (2023 General Elections in Prospective) at the 2022 Democracy Day Symposium and Award organized by Cambridge University Nigerian Society (CUNS) at Lee Hall, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom said, the theme is not only apt but timely, considering the obvious fact that the political atmosphere is already charged in the buildup to 2023 General Elections.
He noted that the ‘‘real participants in electioneering activities are the women and the youth constituencies hence, the thrust of their inclusion in the entire process of political activities cannot be over-emphasized’’.
‘‘women and youths are the critical classes of the society in electioneering activities, any arrangements within which they are not included and involved will not augur well to a successful and peaceful achievement of the target”.
He however noted that there is a dire need for the women and youths to be incorporated in the scheme of things politically.
‘‘It is my conviction that every Nigerian in Diaspora has a good attachment of women and young people back home. That is the most reason why there cannot be any form of detachment from the homeland. He therefore urged the youths in Diaspora not to feel otherwise towards what is going on here in Nigeria. ’
He appeal to the Federal Government and indeed the National Assembly to consider it imperative to work towards entrenching a democratic module that will enable Nigerians in Diaspora express their franchise in polling activities, adding that their contributory economic support to the economy of Nigeria in all spheres must be recognized and not be shoved aside in a critical project as this.
Speaking at the symposium, a former governor of Enugu State His Excellency Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo CON said the inclusiveness of women and young people in the nation’s polity is poor. ‘‘women should be given the equal opportunity to vie for elective positions in Nigeria, such as the seat of the President’’
He noted that the youths in Nigeria have been libeled by violence, thugs, and anarchy because they are poor, adding that the rich procure the youths in these acts of violence, thuggery. He however added that the Not too Young to Run Law has given the youths an opportunity to vie for elective positions. He charged the youths to take advantage of the Law and come out to participate in electioneering activities.
Dr Okwesilieze opined that political parties should endeavor to build a strong and independent youth wing for mentorship, not for violence as this would give the youth the needed opportunity to meet and articulate their views for political policies thereby leading to a growth in the political arena. He stressed that political parties and groups should organize programmes such as workshops, seminars for the youths to build their capacity as this would help them to concentrate on getting leadership postion rather than getting involved in any act of violence and crime.
He further noted that, poor planning leads to poor results, ‘‘poor planning has led to why Nigeria has the highest level of unemployment in the world. He therefore charged the federal government to come up with positive plans that would enable them get the youths out of the streets of unemployment.
Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Her Excellency Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele charged women to participate in political parties activities as inclusiveness does not only stop at women getting elective positions.
On his part, Kenneth Okwor a PhD candidate of the Faculty of Law and President of CUNS noted that the symposium is a opportunity for them to celebrate Nigerian champions, celebrate Nigerian’s democracy, take stock of how far the country have come, acknowledge the problems, craft lasting solutions, and chart a course towards inclusive and representative democracy in Nigeria.
High point of the event is the presentation of an Award of recognition to Prof Akoh for of his work on youth empowerment and nation-building.
CUNS is a student body for all Nigerian students at the University of Cambridge, and also for Non-Nigerians students who are interested in Nigerian cultures and affairs.
The event was organized in association with the Niger Delta Youth Association in the United Kingdom.