AFRICMIL, journalism institute and Rosa Luxemburg task youths on political participation
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THE African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) in Abuja has made a call to the Nigerian youths to be actively involved in the political decision-making processes of Nigeria.
This statement was made at a two- day roundtable tagged: Raising Political awareness among Students in Tertiary institutions: Duties and Obligations of the Youth in the Nigerian Political System.
The event was organised by AFRICMIL in collaboration with the International Institute of Journalism and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Chido Onumah, Executive Director, AFRICMIL and the author of the book We are all Biafrans said the role of the Nigerian students in ensuring equality in social relations within the country is undeniable.
He, however, bemoaned the current trend of events in Nigeria campuses where student body has destroyed the main purpose of the formation of the student union, unlike in the past, when student union was a central voice that spoke the mind of students.
“Do not agonise, but organise. It is a message we would be passing along today,” he said.
Emphasising the need to raise political awareness of the students and youths, Angela Odah, programme director, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation said cultism has replaced political reasoning, hence the need to raise the consciousness of the students in tertiary institutions.
In addition, the discussants highlighted the cost of securing political tickets as a hindrance to political participation by the youths.
Dr Emman Usman Shehu, Rector, International Institute of Journalism, identified laxity on the part of parents as one of the reasons for the erosion of good character among the youths. He blamed Nigerians leaders and their followers.
“The people in governance are not playing their role, but the frustrating aspect of it is that citizens are not also carrying out the obligation of holding their leaders accountable.
Unfortunately, this same pattern is also seen in different campuses with increment in cultism and cultic groups springing up, and the youths also are not talking about this problem, he lamented.
Shehu in a lecture titled Student Radicalism and the Nigerian Project: A Critical Analysis of the Nigerian Student Movement, said Nigerian higher institutions have birthed great student activism despite the bleak situation and government interference.
“As long as the salient issues that affect aspects of the Nigerian Project persist, students will react to the degree that they are directly affected,” he said.
Students at the event told The ICIR that student activism is certainly not ending on campuses, especially with the role of “Not too Young to rule” political platform.
AFRICMIL has assured the stakeholders at the event that social media platforms would be utilised for the Political Education Project.