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IEYSF Calls For Youth Participation In Politics


The president of Igbomina/Ekiti Youth Stakeholders Forum (IEYSF), Israel Abiodun Ayeni, has urged the youths in the state to actively participate or join political parties to fight for their place in the Nigeria polity.

Israel, according to a statement on Saturday, through the PRO of the forum AbdulRasaq Oluwadamilare, stated that taking up political responsibilities is not an easy task, but it is the only alternative for the youth to have a stake in the politics.

The press statement in details;

Ladies and gentlemen 
 
Robert Kennedy once said: “This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease” It was June 1966 when he appealed for the empowerment of the youth to become a reality.

Today as in 1966, these words are even more powerful and inspiring, they remind us of the potential and strength of the unity of the youth in our changing world.
 
Indeed, young people are often depicted as the leaders of tomorrow. But, in reality, we are already leading an important change today. Actually, we are here not to talk about some great examples from the past but to encourage us all to excrete the spirit of political apathy that lingers within us. 

For instance, a lot of young people in Igbomina/Ekiti land are yet to understand the benefit of their participation in politics and governance process while some have even given up. 

We understand that it is important to give a reviving messages of hope and love, to express and instil a sense of citizenship, and active participation in politics to our youth. To motivate us to wake up and take political responsibilities.

Taking up our political responsibilities is not an easy task, of course, but what could have been the alternative? Indeed, we should know that the core steps to "not too young to run process" is "not too lazy to run", not too poor to run, not too corrupt to run, not too neglected to run and more of the not too radical, hooliganism to run attitude.
 
Our initiative is to show courage, hope, love and unity among the young people of Igbomina/Ekiti land. We can be the seeds of an achievable dream and a long lasting success and this project could trigger a positive effect and push other young people to bring forward similar projects. 

An inspiring case that I would like to recall today is the one of Musa Ansumana Soko, from Sierra Leone. At young age, Musa came face to face to the one of longest civil war Africa has ever known. He was forced to abandon his country and found a new ‘home’ in Freetown, where he completed his education. But once the war was over in Sierra Leone, he came back to his country and founded the Youth Partnership for Peace and Development. He continued developing inspiring post conflict approaches to help young people to cope with the effects of war through a reconciliation with former child/youth combatants in conflict zones. 

Thanks to his determination, he managed to make his project to be well-known and he was recognized in 2017 as one of the “50 Most Influential Young Sierra Leoneans”.

Like these, there are many other examples, which clearly show that we need a paradigm shift. Instead of we young people depicting ourselves as victims or perpetrators of violence, we need to recognise and acknowledge our important role; we are social actors with our own ideas and visions for the future, capable to drive a real change in our societies. 

Besides, we believe we do not only play an important role as peace builders but we can also be key actors in preventing and countering radicalization of our peers in the world.

As we know today, high unemployment rate, poverty, social and political exclusion are pushing more and more young citizens to join extremist groups. As Vivian Onano, a 24-year-old Kenyan activist said “If you are left out, you are filled with anger”. 

Therefore, what we need to do is to have the courage to revert this tendency and directly engage ourselves strategically, to EMPOWER OURSELVES. We all must mobilize ourselves to obtain our Permanent voter's card at our local areas and mobilize for competent youth to start securing strategic political positions from the local level to federal level.

We need to create spaces where young people can freely express their voice and debate with peers and policy makers, thus influencing behaviours, ideas and policies. In this sense, the Igbomina/Ekiti Youth Stakeholders Forum is a clear demonstration of willingness to give more voice and strength to youngsters, young leaders through the creation of "youth to youth", “people to people” contacts, and the establishment of a valuable network between ourselves.

Besides, we need to provide young people with useful and concrete educational tools to fight incompetence, misrepresentation, marginalization, political apathy, exploitation, violence, hatred and extremism. 

The Igbomina/ Ekiti Youth Stakeholders Forum is fully ready to mobilize as many as possible young people for voter's registration and election participation across the constituency. 

We are also using this opportunity to call on INEC to help us increase the number of their personnel especially in Ekiti and Irepodun Local Government because many people are ready to register for their PVC but INEC officers were not enough to attend to them. We are also ready to partner with INEC to speed up the process.

As part of our effort to galvanize the youth populace, we would organize the Igbomina/Ekiti Youth Stakeholders Summit 2022 that would focus on education, security and economy. It would also birth a movement that would mobilize young people as powerful drivers of positive change in the political space.

Let me end my speech with an appeal to all of you from one of the most inspirational and revolutionary political leader, Nelson Mandela: “To the youth of today, I also have a wish to make: be the scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourselves as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future” 

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less" Physicist, Marie Curie 

Let's build Igbomina/Ekiti Land together. 

Thank you!

Signed

AbdulRasaq Oluwadamilare
PRO 
08164916047

Israel Abiodun Ayeni
President
0906 884 8875


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