BY Millicent Umoru-O

The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 NYCC-19, a humanitarian outfit, has embarked on putting in place structures at the state level. This is in furtherance to the mandate of engaging about 10 million youths to serve as information agents to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Vice Chairman and Head of State Affairs National Steering Committee, NYCC-19, Prince Chibuike Echem said Nigeria is the first African country to domesticate the United Nations global compact for youth in humanitarian action on COVID-19. He stated that NYCC-19 is not a political or religion platform, but a platform put in place to compliment Federal Government efforts in the fight against corona virus at all levels. He urged all the State Executives to be committed in the discharge of their duties, as NYCC-19 is result oriented.

On his part, the Chairman, Advisory Board, NYCC-19 and Nigeria focal person, Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Workers, CAYWA, Uzor Ifeanyi said, the essence of setting up the state structures is specifically to sensitize people on the corona virus pandemic and the need to adhere to Federal Government protocols of staying safe. Adding that the committee is also charged with the responsibility to reach out to young people in the zone, who have been displaced of their means of livelihood as a result of COVID-19, as well as gather data of young people who are unemployed as this is geared towards empowering youths nationwide.

Delivering a keynote address at the inauguration, on the topic: Covid-19 and the Youth Personality, Mrs Queen Obioma, PhD. said the initiative is apt as this is a period when the inexplicable tragedy called COVID-19 is ravaging physical, social and economic fabrics of the society both locally and globally. Mrs Obioma noted that, the pandemic is a transformative experience that has resolutely drifted people to frequent intensive and unpleasant emotions, expressed through anxiety, stress, anger, depression and frustration which prompts immediate short-term responses and more long-term consequences in terms of psychology, society, health and morality.

She added that, the global economic and social meltdown has amplified the effects of personal differences and characteristic pattern of how we feel, think, do things and our value both in good and bad dimensions; although most of us are not infected, but are affected and the impact is not departing soon. She further stated that prior to now, youths have been pressured with hydra-headed challenges majority of them have been direct victims of dilapidated economy, unemployment, inadequate education system, etc. she noted that young minds are being brainwashed by fortune seekers who access the basement of the young susceptible minds to further enrich their pockets. Unfortunately, the covid-19 pandemic tripled the ugly situation as it prompts the youths to abject redundancy through lockdowns in view of the fact that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop

Mrs Obioma said youths are the greatest and invaluable investments of the nation, hence they should not allow themselves to be used to perpetuate crimes. She urged the youths to be resolute change agents as they deploy all arsenals and doggedness towards ensuring that advocacy and sensitizations trickles down to the grassroots levels.

Abia State Commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Patriot Emenike Innocent applauds the NYCCC-19 for the successes attained so far in empowering the Nigerian youth, stating that the state coordinators and the executives should ensure that the essence of their emergence as state executives is carried out diligently to ensure that the message gets to the rural areas.

Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Abia state Dr. Ngozi okechukwu, represented by the Assistant Director Victor Orji noted that one of the challenge faced this period is unawareness in many quarters about the pandemic, adding that most Nigerians do not believe that there is corona virus, hence the NOA is ready to partner with the NYCC-19 to sensitize the people most especially in the rural areas to keep them abreast about the pandemic. Dr. Okechukwua urged the youths as well as Nigerians to observe the Federal Government rules on ways to ease the spread of the virus, adding that COVID-19 is a virus that washing of hands with soap and water can easily cure, therefore, people should not joke with their health.

High point of the event is the inauguration of the 7-man committee each from the 5 states that make up the south east zone of Nigeria, which are; Abia, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, and Ebonyi.

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