Let’s Create Spaces For Our Youths In Governance, Economy -Presidential Aide | Ibomplaza News

Let’s Create Spaces For Our Youths In Governance, Economy -Presidential Aide | Ibomplaza News

By Idongesit Ashameri

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang has made case for creation of spaces for the younger generation in the governance and economy of Nigeria.

Sen. Enang has cautioned Nigerians against unfriendly name tagging of youths as cultists and criminals each time they have the need for agitation, saying that such treatment has continued to lower their self esteem, and largely responsible for the youth restiveness witnessed in the country.

Speaking at the National Dialogue to mark 2021 Democracy Day, organized by the Civil Liberties Organisations (CLO) in conjunction with the Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, in Uyo on Friday, Sen. Enang blamed government for using and abandoning the youths without providing jobs for them.

He urged the government to apologize to the youths, saying, “It is time to have meaningful dialogue with the youths of this State and country and practically give them roles and space in the Governance and economy of this State and country.

“We should not profile them as criminals or cultists nor such derogatory nor demeaning appellations that gives them low self or societal esteem.”

“Doing so ostracises them and embolden them to form camps, carry arms and do the worst. This please is in view of the peculiar times, and not the norm for all times. We should not profile nor stigmatise them,” he noted.

The Presidential aide who also advocated for a national dialogue every five years to tackle the problems bedevilling the nation, said the dialogue will help the six geo-political zones in the country express their grievances and reach a compromise that would help to move the nation forward.

Emphasizing that the voices of discord and discontent across the country is getting louder and needed to be addressed, Enang said the national conference would not take over the functions of the government but serve as a feedback from the people.

“The voices of discord are getting louder and it may be time to allow Nigerians to dialogue with each other by whatever arrangement. It was like this under Jonathan Presidency in 2013 when President Jonathan convened that 2014 confab and that political temperature was tamed and calmed,” he said.

Also speaking, Member representing Etinan, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Onofiok Luke, cautioned President Buhari against ignoring the various agitations coming out from the South/East and South/ West regions.

Luke who is the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary expressed disappointment that much has been said but nobody is listening to the various voices of reason in the country.

“It is by coming together to share ideas and share thoughts beyond party lines, taking a bipartisan approach, bringing together men and women who have leaders touch, one solution or the other, one idea or the other that we could all fine-tune and push the agenda for the development of this country.

“I have always been an advocate for bipartisan approach to the problems of this country. The problem we are facing doesn’t know party, it doesn’t know region, religion.

“Now the security crisis we are experiencing in the South East, we have had a case of that crisis in North West. We have had students kidnapped from Schools, and those students are not Christians, those students are Muslims.

“We’ve had this crisis happen in states that are not APC, we have had it happen in states that are PDP. And the people affected by this crisis are the Nigerian populace. It affects our parents, siblings.

“I am a firm believer in the unity of Nigeria, the unity of Nigeria founded on justice, equity and then founded on true federalism. And we can achieve this by every segment of this society seeing ourselves as equals.

“The agitation that we have had, agitation for secession, for all sorts of things is because some sections of the country feel marginalized.

“What I am asking at this level is can we go back to the dialogue table. We should not ignore agitations from Southeast, we should not ignore agitations from South West.

“But what we should not condone or accommodate is agitation. Let the people come and sit at the table and then express their grievances and ask for what would make for their betterment,” he stated.

Speaking on the theme of the dialogue; “Democracy, Insecurity and Unity of Nigeria” the National Legal Adviser of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Barr Emmanuel Enoidem who was represented on the occasion by Dr Tom Fredfish on his part made case for Igbo Presidency, maintaining that the civil war was yet to be over until the Igbos are given the chance to produce the President of Nigeria.

State Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Akwa Ibom State Branch, Mr Franklyn Isong who set the tone for the dialogue said the essence of drawing participants across political, religious and ethnic lines was was to demonstrate the need for a bipartisan approach to tackling the nation’s common enemies; economic challenges and insecurity.

Highpoint of the dialogue was distribution of the national flag to all participants and the directive to wave in unison, with the call for peace, by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Sen. Ita Enang.

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