A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has urged Nigerian youths to mobilise themselves and channel some of their youthful enthusiasm and activism into clamouring for a restructuring of the country’s governance structure.
Anyaoku stated this at an event organised by Rise Networks in commemoration of the United Nations’ International Youth Day 2016 in Lagos.
While speaking on the theme, ‘The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption,’ Anyaoku said, “If the country wants to rid itself of poverty, there has to be essential national action in the areas of politics, social change and economic activities.”
According to him, the restructuring of Nigeria should pose no threat to her unity as there is need to realise that a truer federalism will give the country greater political stability and faster socio-economic development.
“It is the continuation of the ongoing agitations in different parts of the country which are encouraged by present governing structure,” he said.
The ex-Commonwealth chief explained that politics should be restructured by devolving more power to the federating units to provide more viable basis for economic planning and development.
Anyaoku emphasised that the Nigerian society in its present state was in great need of social change.
He explained, “Corruption permeates all levels of the society starting from examination malpractices in our schools and education institutions through primary and receiving of gratification before the performance of ones’ obligatory duties to outright embezzlement and stealing of public and private funds.”
He argued that hard work was no longer recognised as the only path to success in Nigeria but the society had placed the possession of wealth over and above the possession of good hard work, hence, the heavy presence of corruption.
“I urge our youths as powerful agents of quality change to be in the vanguard of a campaign for the restoration of the societal values and ethics that guided people’s behaviour in the past in the growing up of young people.”
While speaking about the massive poverty present in the country, Anyaoku said it was closely linked to the unacceptable level of youth unemployment.
According to him, to effectively address the challenge of youth unemployment, entrepreneurship must be embraced.
“I believe there are vast opportunities to be tapped in the spheres of agriculture, and agro-based industry and also the small and medium-scale manufacturing of things that will boost the economy of the country,” he said.