Group calls on Sanwo-Olu to convene youth forum in Lagos

A youth group in Lagos State has called on the incoming Lagos Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to convene a youth conference to be able to address their needs.

The group made the call on Monday during a conference tagged “Street Voices’’ held at the Yusuf Grillo Hall, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.

`Street Voices’ is a network that amplifies social concerns and acts as a voicebank which tackles challenges facing youths.

The forum also seeks to invest in youths as advocates of social change by breaking down government policies to the people.

The convener of the conference, Mr Rasak Ivori, said there was the need to have a youth conference initiated by the government.

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“The only way the voices of youths can be heard is when they come together and speak under one umbrella about their challenges and how to address them.

“For this, we are calling on the Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to as a matter of priority partner this forum to convey a statewide youth forum to get them involved.

“We are in a democracy which allows for full participation. However, with the recent statistics that show that the youth constitute about 61 percent of the electorate, they should use that as an advantage.

“This time around, we want to get all the youths under one umbrella to advocate and speak up on their concerns, because we need to be more vocal in contributing to government policies,’’ he said.

Ivori advised the youth to be more active in politics in order to contribute better to future policies that affect them.

“The youth need to be active in government policies, not just talking about it on social media; they need to amplify their voices under one umbrella.

“The street voice is about breaking down of government policies into simplified information which an ordinary man in the street can understand.

“Nowadays, the Student Union Government in the various higher institutions are no more vocal, but back in the days then, these were the unions that stood up against military dictatorship.

“Even with the advent of social media, these student union governments are not still vocal in the face of many challenges the higher institutions are facing. In this regard, we need a new orientation,” he said.

A Hip-hop artiste and a guest during the conference, Olanrewaju Ogunmefun (Vector), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that street voice was not about thuggery, but an advocacy forum.

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“The street voice is not about thuggery and rough life, but an advocacy group to address the challenges facing youths in the 21st century.

“Nobody wants to be on the streets, but the condition has pushed some into doing what they are not supposed to do. Advocacy like street voice could be a forum to lend their voices.

“I accept education and forward thinking as a virtue, therefore, youths should make use of so many positive opportunities on the internet to better their lives,” he said.

According to him, youths can adopt good mentors, rather than those who will lead them to fraudulent activities.

”The internet age should afford the youths opportunity to make better and informed choices.

“The government should do their own part and not be missing out of the equation, while the youths should make informed choices,’’ he said.