Youths urged to place national identity over ethnicity, religion

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By Philomina Attah

Mr Obinna Nwaka, Director-General, Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), has called on Nigerian youth to place their national identity far above their ethnic and religious affiliations.

He also urged them to hold their representatives accountable and unite against opponents of good governance.

He spoke in Abuja on Thursday at the 2024 CYMS National Conference which had the theme: “Promotion of Peaceful Co-existence, Ethnic and Religious Cohesion in Our Nation”.

He highlighted CYMS’ role in promoting government policies, good governance and youth inclusion since its establishment in 2018.

Nwaka urged youths to consider the values of self-reliance, youth inclusiveness in governance, local government autonomy and the importance of ethnic and religious tolerance.

The director-general stressed the need for patriotism to curb the destruction of national assets.

He also cautioned against civil unrest and underscored the role of stakeholders in conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence.

He warned against vote-buying and financial crimes, urging leaders to pay attention to the youth by initiating programmes that would make them assets to the society.

He urged youth to unite against those preaching disunity and disintegration, calling for more engagement with youths at the grassroots.

Nwaka expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for his administration’s achievements and support to the Nigerian youths through some laudable initiatives.

He appealed for constructive criticism of the government and urged Nigerians to put the country above political and personal interests.

He declared the conference an annual event, reaffirming CYMS’s commitment to championing causes that would boost national growth.

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Prof. Musa Olaofe, the Chief Imam, Ansar-ud-deen Mosque, Abuja, in a remark, encouraged Nigerian youths to show interest and participate in the country’s politics to protect their interests.

He said that there would not be meaningful development if the youth were left out of governance.

“Do not allow yourself to be used as thugs by the politicians.

“If any politician wants to engage you in war or give you cutlasses to fight, such a person should first of all invite his children to take the lead,” he said.

On his part, Rev. Duke Akamisoko, the Anglican Bishop of Kubwa Diocese, Abuja, said that religious bodies had a lot to do in order to promote peace in the country.

“As religious leaders, we are asked to emulate our Master Jesus, and the teachings of the scriptures, with peace as a cardinal principle.

“I urge the youth to imbibe the teachings of the Holy Books. They should accept the teachings and practice them in their lives,” he said (NAN)

Edited by AbdulFatai Beki and Ephraims Sheyin

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