The governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Lagos State in the 2019 poll, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, has called on Nigerian youths not to lose courage but double their efforts to seek leadership positions by taking an active part in politics.
This was just as he blamed their low participation in politics on the older generation who he said had denied them the right opportunity.
Gbadamosi made the call while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines at the graduation ceremony of Youth New Club (YNC) Skill Acquisition Programme, which took place at the weekend in Lagos.
The businessman cum politician, while noting that the youths are a great asset to the country as they have the energy, the number and the creativity to propel national development, however, warned them against being used and dumped by politicians during elections, urging them to start making political choices that truly care about them.
The ADP chieftain, who said nation-building was a collective responsibility, argued that it was not too early for Nigerians to start discussing 2023 as it was normal in politics to plan ahead, urging youths to do their best for the good of the nation by queuing behind leaders that meant well for the country when it was time for election.
Gbadamosi, who was the chairman of the graduation ceremony, described youth empowerment through jobs and skill acquisition, among others as very critical to national development, but lamented that governments seemed to have failed “in the area of creating opportunities for young people, who actually constitute more than 70 per cent of the population.”
The politician, while urging government at all levels to create opportunities for young people as a way of addressing the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, further warned that failure to do so might force them into negative acts that might undermine the peace and progress in the country.
“Failure to create opportunities for the youth might force them into negative acts, hence, undermining the peace and progress of the country,” he warned.
“We must create opportunities for the youth in order to prevent the apocalyptic situation that former President Obasanjo warned us about, that if we continue to create a situation where the youths are unemployed, we will be creating a collapsing society,” he further warned.
Gbadamosi said he decided to identify with YNC’s skill acquisition programme due to his belief in youth empowerment as a way to go, promising to support the youth organisation with resources to train the beneficiaries in the different vocations, as well as providing the 10 best graduands with capital to start their businesses.
While commending the organisation for the initiative, Gbadamosi said he would continue to provide support to ensure the sustenance of the skill acquisition programme.
President of YMC, Mr Abraham Osho, in his remark, said the skill acquisition programme was initiated by the club in 2016 to help creative entrepreneurs.
According to him, no fewer than 2,000 youths who trained in vocations such as hairdressing, carpentry, fashion designing and others would be graduating at the ceremony.
“The essence of the programme, which for now is for youths in the Lagos West Senatorial District, is to create entrepreneurs and not job seekers.
“We believe entrepreneurship is key to national economic development, that is why we are doing this to empower young people,” he said.