By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja

To mark the 2022 International Youth Day, a Non-profit Governmental Organisation, NGO, Motivating African Youth Initiative, MAY.I, on Friday, called on all Nigerians to embrace unity as they make their choice of who becomes Nigeria’s 16th president in the 2023 general elections.

This was even as it specifically said that the 2023 general election is an important determinant of what the country would be in coming years, adding that solidarity across generations is key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in Nigeria.

Ogenne Walter Ekwubiri, while addressing Journalists, during a media conference aimed at celebrating the international Youth Day, with the theme: ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: creating a world for all ages, in Abuja’, she said that intergenerational collaboration is imperative in ensuring progress in the country.

According to her, Being that as a nation, it is no news that we are building into an election year. All Hands must be on deck whether you’re a gen-Z, a millennia, or an Alpha generation, we all must work together to create the future we deserve and to build a Nigeria that works for you.

“All of us need to work together to build the future we desire. Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development goals. We must collaborate to foster successful and equitable intergenerational relationships and partnerships to ensure that no one is left behind.

“While intergenerational solidarity and concern for future generations is being called for in tackling global issues with the UN Secretary General recently putting forward the new recommendations on renewed intergenerational solidarity, including our common agenda. Ageism continues to present a significant, yet not sufficiently discussed, challenge in fostering collaboration and solidarity across these groups.

“Now, in Nigeria, there is this common saying that we are the future right? The youth are the leaders. But a lot of young people keep waiting for tomorrow, because a lot of us don’t have access to leadership.

“Now, you are expected to have over five to 10 years experience before applying for a job, but it expects you to not be approved for 25 years when you are coming for the job. Does it make sense not to speak about the many challenges you face as a student, not to talk about the strikes and so it makes no sense. On this premise, we are saying everything should be allowed to function, you should be allowed to be great regardless of your age”, she added.

On his part, the Executive Director, Connected Development Initiative, CDI, Hamza Lawal, advised youths to: “do away with voter inducement, vote buying and selling. As intergenerational dialogue and conversation and that solidarity, please, let us not sell our votes and let us not allow people to come and infuse negativity into the elections.

Founder, Project 40 project Hub, Dr. Oke Abioye, urged Nigerians to see it as a clarion call to cast their votes in the coming 2023 general elections.

His words: “You don’t need any politician, any leader to come to your house and beg you to go cast your votes, you don’t need politicians to induce you to come out to vote. So, you need to come out as a Nigerian knowing that you cannot survive outside of Nigeria, then tell me why you shouldn’t vote because I know it is in my interest that Nigeria succeeds. So, I think our youths need to be self motivated.”

MEANWHILE, Executive Vice Chairman, Infrastructural Development and Energy Company Limited, INDECO, Dr. Prisca Ndu, urged Nigerians, particularly the youths to form a formidable force against vices frustrating the progress of the country.

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