Youths need empowerment to build the nation —Akintunde

Armstrong ‘Tope Akintunde, a young politician within the fold of All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, is a businessman and real estate developer. He speaks with BAYO ALADE, on the youth and COVID-19 pandemic.

You are an advocate of the youth and believe in their ability to build a virile and progressive nation. Why this passion?

Yes, the youth are very essential in the development of any nation. A nation is as great as its youths. Don’t forget this category of people form the largest percentage of the population. Unfortunately, many years of military misrule and bad civilian rule has disoriented the youth such that many now think of cutting corners to achieve their mundane goals. The rot in the system has led many into antisocial and illegal activities. Things should not be allowed to continue this way. To save the nation from self-destruct, we need to act fast. We need an urgent and complete overhaul in our value system and discourage the get-rich-quick syndrome that is the order of the day. The youths should remember that they own tomorrow and whatever they do now will be the direct consequences of what they expect in the nearest future.


As a young politician and budding democrat what roles do you see the youths playing in combating the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19?

Talking about the roles of youths in combating coronavirus, I was tempted to ask myself; “What has government been doing to empower the youth?” That is the salient question. It might sound a bit radical but that is the reality. As it has been said repeatedly in many fora, this pandemic has exposed our ineptitude, our ignorance, greed, unpreparedness, lack of meaningful ideology, large scale corruption, insincerity, I can go on. Yes, the youths should rise up and do something to save the community, the nation and the world at large but at what expense? To me this COVID-19 episode is a blessing in disguise. It will open our eyes to quite a lot of things and would make us stand and demand our fundamental rights.

It will awaken and re-awaken the sense of responsibility in every sector of our daily and national life and make us prepare better for any future occurrence. Right now, the youth being the engine room of a nation’s development should be at the forefront of the advocacy of enlightening and educating the people. They should channel their time, energy and initiatives towards getting the best out of this predicament and contribute their quota in the fight against the dreaded disease. But this also comes at a price; the youth should be empowered in every sense so that they have that sense of responsibility and belonging within the society.


Have state governors been doing well over this COVID-19, especially in Ogun State under Governor Dapo Abiodun in alleviating the challenges faced by the people during this lockdown period?

The pandemic has affected everybody including state governments which have now shifted all their focus on coronavirus and making the people safe. Generally I will say that state governments are trying. The Ogun State government is trying its best possible in setting up isolation centres and getting on top of the situation by mobilising medical personnel and also engaging the security agencies to enforce laws guiding the spread of the disease. I also give kudos to them for alleviating the challenges in the provision of palliatives and other essentials. Again, credit must be given to the sensitisation activities of the government in the media and other information dissemination channel including fumigation of public places.

We must also commend Governor Dapo Abiodun for the relaxation of the lockdown to ease the effect on the masses. Although, this comes with the risk of possible exposure of the people the more to the disease but since the government cannot afford to lock down an economy which is being sustained by small scale businesses, it is only wise that he gave the order and provided windows when people can briefly go out and take care of their needs before returning to their various bases.


Do you think there has been an improvement in the battle against the pandemic?

Definitely yes, the battle against coronavirus is being fought from all fronts and thank God, the people are getting more informed and knowing more and more about the disease. The government; starting from the Federal Government to states and local governments, have collectively risen to the occasion. What I can only observe is that equipment for testing people to ascertain their status are still short in supply which makes it a little difficult to know the actual number of people that have actually contracted the virus.  I want to believe that there are a lot of carriers of the virus out there who are not aware of their status.


What would you say about the policies put in place to curb coronavirus? 

If one doesn’t necessarily have anything worthy doing outside, it’s better to stay at home and stay safe too. This is for our own sake and for the sake of our family, community and the larger society. And again, we should observe the guidelines against COVID-19 as spelt out by WHO and other relevant agencies.

We should wear face mask when going out, wash our hands regularly and make use of the sanitiser often. Above all, we must also observe social distancing. It is pathetic that as soon as the lockdown was relaxed in Lagos State and people were given freedom to go about their businesses, they failed to comply with the regulations of social distancing and wearing of face masks.





Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

Sperm Containing COVID-19 Raises Risk Of Spread Via Sex ― Study
Chinese researchers who tested sperm of men infected with COVID-19 found that a minority of them had the new coronavirus in their semen, opening up a small chance the disease could be transmitted sexually, scientists said on Thursday… Read full story

Stop Harassment Of Journalists, Other Essential Workers, PTF Tells Security Agencies
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has told security agencies to desist for harassment of journalists and other essential workers on duty during the period of the ongoing restrictions to contain the spread of the virus… Read full story

Lagos Records Another Two COVID-19 Deaths
Lagos State government on Thursday said it recorded two additional coronavirus related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths associated to the pandemic in the state to 33. The Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on his Twitter handle, recalling that 82 new cases of COVID-19 infection… Read full story

22-Year-Old Lady Stabs Husband To Death After Catching Him Making Call To Another Woman
A 22-year-old lady was on Thursday, May 7, arrested by men of the Nasarawa State command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) after she allegedly stabbed her husband to death for making a phone call to another woman she suspected to be his lover… Read full story

PHOTOS: Lagos Expresses Appreciation, Releases List Of Donors To Coronavirus Fund
The Lagos State government on Thursday released list of various individuals and organisations who have so far donated to the fund to combat coronavirus in the state. In a tweet from the state government twitter handle, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the state appreciated the corporate giant and individuals… Read full story

Give Account Of COVID-19 Donations Expenses, Lagos Assembly Tells Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make recourse to the House over expenses incurred from the donations made towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The House also charged the governor to make recourse to it before declaring a state… Read full story

EDITORIAL: Buhari’s FCC Nominations
IN line with his usual practice regarding postings and appointments, President Muhammadu Buhari recently sparked controversy once again when he announced lopsided nominations into the Federal Character Commission (FCC). In a letter dated March 18, 2020 and addressed to the President of the Senate… Read full story

Justice Dahiru Saleh, Judge Who Annulled June 12 Presidential Election, Is Dead
Twenty-seven years after he made history by annulling the 1993 presidential election in what has now become popularly refer to as ‘June 12’, the judge, Justice Dahiru Saleh, has died. The retired judge died Thursday afternoon in his hometown, Azare, headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area in Bauchi… Read full story

Two Medical Staff Die, As Seven Travellers To Maiduguri Test Positive For COVID-19
Seven more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maiduguri after being caught by security personnel trying to sneak into the capital city. They had come in from different South-West and South-South states inside empty petrol tankers in some cases to enter Maiduguri which is the ancestral home of some of them… Read full story

Lagos Discharges 48 More Patients After Testing Negative For Coronavirus
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday announced the discharge of 48 more patients from various facilities in the state, saying the patients, who had tested negative twice to coronavirus comprised 32 males and 16 females, all Nigerians… Read full story

PTF Fumes Over Persistent Violation Of Guidelines; Threatens To Review Measures
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Thursday, expressed concerns over continuous violation of the guidelines put in place after the lockdown was relaxed and warned that the PTF may be forced to review the measures already taken… Read full story

The Pains, Struggles Of Almajiri System •Echoes from northern streets
Three years ago in Kaduna, the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at a forum made a revealing disclosure that woke up deep thoughts in the guests; he told the gathering that the state had conducted a survey and discovered that there are no fewer than three million almajiris in the state… Read full story

Ramadan: The Richness Of A Special Month
RAMADHAN is primarily intended to make Muslims and indeed mankind to remain generally good, pure and righteous. It is Allah’s yearly serious purification of the body, heart and soul of every true Muslim in readiness for admission into Paradise (a Garden under which Rivers flow)… Read full story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More