By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
YOUTHS from across the three Senatorial Districts of Kogi State have presented a four-point Charter of Demand to candidates contesting the November 11, Governorship Election in the state.
Kogi Youths under the aegis of Lugard Youths Development and Empowerment Initiative (LYDEI) presented the Charter of Demands to the gubernatorial candidates at a Town Hall Meeting in Lokoja.
Mr Aminu Okutepa, Executive Director of LYDEI, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in his opening remarks said the Kogi the Charter was a compilation of the demands, expectations and aspirations of Kogi Youths for the next administration in the state.
He said that the document was derived from extensive engagements with Kogi Youths and a survey carried out in the State to harvest opinions of young people from across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
“The “Kogi Youths Charter of Demands” provides a compelling portrait of the aspirations, concerns, and expectations of Kogi youths.
“Their voices, echoing the need for improved social welfare, infrastructure, healthcare, education and employment opportunities”, he said.
Okutepa said that the Charter which is summarized into four-point of Job creation and Employment; Education; Youth Inclusion in Governance and Healthcare Improvements should serve as a guiding light for policymakers and stakeholders as they chart the future of Kogi State.
“The youth have not only identified their priorities but also offered practical recommendations to address the issues effectively and to uplift the youth and by extension, the entire state of Kogi”, he said.
Speaking earlier on the issue of Hate Speech and Fake News that have dominated the political landscape in recent times, the candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Dr Sam Omale described hate speeches as a products of contestants’ inadequacies.
Dr Omale said his administration would exploit the potentials in Marine Economy, Mining, Agriculture, Industrialisation Education, Health, Infrastructure and will above all, be anchored on Good Governance.
The Action Alliance (AA) candidate, Mr Olayinka Braimoh said he had identified the root cause of poverty in the state and attributed it to over-dependence on Statutory Allocations from the Federation Account rather than exploiting and harnessing the economic potentials of the state.
He said that his government will focus on Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, Agriculture, Tourism, Health, Education among others adding that his government would deploy technology to create wealth and improve Agriculture among others.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Candidate, Sen. Dino Melaye who was represented by Mohammed Kabiru, said his government will be youth-friendly and would do everything possible to bring more youths into the mainstream of politics and governance.
Hon. Olajide Ibikunle Adebayo, Speaker, Nigerian Youth Parliament, Kogi State chapter, urged the youths to decline proposals from politicians to lure and engage them as thugs adding that they should allow their conscience and convictions to guide their political decisions.
The participants spoke on: Impact of Hate Speech and Fake News on the Use of New Media in Our Electoral Process; Enhancing Youth Inclusion in Governance Process and Strategies to Address Security Challenges Prior to the Off-Cycle Gubernatorial Election.
Representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security agencies, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Political Parties, Media and National Youth Council of Nigeria graced the occasion. (Ends)