By O’star Eze
The charge was handed down at a youth-based interactive session organised by South Saharan Social development Organisation in Awka recently, which had youth leaders across political parties, religious and civil society groups, women leaders in attendance.
In his address, a resource person, Onyebuchi Igboke, observed that young people in politics usually choose their candidates based on sentiments inspired by religion, party, ethnicity or money, over competence.
He pointed out that when young people have something they do for a living, they would not be easily coerced into selling their reasoning or conscience to the highest bidder as has been the case in Nigerian politics.
He encouraged young people to be resourceful and self-sufficient before vying for political positions so that they would be able to overcome the temptation of money politics that hold sway in the society.
He posited that the qualities to look out for in choosing a political representative to vote for should be competence, character and vision.
He regretted that Nigerian youths are yet to start seeing leadership as their responsibility, adding that it is high time the Nigerian youth shook of the fetters of political servitude they had held themselves in and took power back from those who mismanage it.
He challenged any youth who has intentions of vying for position to be clear on what innovation he or she is bringing to bear if given the position.
Speaking on Anambra Youths and Partisan Politics, Elder Eloka Okafor, state project manager of Community Empowerment Network, decried how praising singing has been made an industry in politics by some Nigerian youths.
He observed with dismay that such attitude has been the reason for the rising trend of money politics in the society, especially the new practice of amassing wealth in first tenure for rigging second tenure elections.
He enjoined Anambra youths to start from themselves and extend to their immediate environment in monitoring and demanding good governance from political office holders.
Chief Ikoro Okey Ralph Nwosu, national chairman of African Democratic Congress, observed that Nigerian youths reverence man more than God these days, arguing that it is the reason for youth inability to achieve much with their potential in the country.
Nwosu, who was represented by Dr. Ifeanyi Innocent Okonkwo, called on youths to seek vision and wisdom from God to emancipate themselves from the political subjugation they are suffering.
Rising from the interactive session, the gathering resolved to commence intensive value reorientation programmes individually and collectively. This, they said, would go a long way in sensitizing the young people and women to tow the line of reason-based politicking.
Earlier, the South Saharan Social Development Organisation Programme Manager, Barrister Onyinye Nwachukwu, explained that the forum was part of a programme tagged Awakening Youths which is geared towards facilitating youth participation in governance, to ensure their participation is in the right way.
She said the group has been going about various southern states identifying emerging issues that concern youths and government.