By Freedom Bassey, EPLF Fellow
The objective of this activity was to encourage self-governance and give the young people tips on how to organize themselves to cater to community needs and challenges such as security, and sanitation, and learn how they can positively engage in civic duties in Nigeria.
It was an exciting time with some outgoing NYSC members and some community youths in the Obubra Local Government Area as I shared some of the leadership lessons I have learned in the EPLF programme regarding self-governance. The event had over 50 NYSC members and over 30 young persons between the ages of 18 to 35 in attendance, and the discussion was centered on the role of young people in the community and self-governance.
During the course of the event, questions were asked and there were contributions from the participants as regards the challenges the youths are faced with in terms of not getting politically involved. At the end of the discussions, I led some of the participants to clean up the neighborhood market just to exemplify some of the discussions we just had. The choice to exemplify the discussion was to further demonstrate to them in practical terms that everything is not dependent on the government and that there is something we the people can always do while waiting on government interventions.
I am hopeful that the young people in Obubra Local Government Area are now aware that we all have a critical role to play in national development. I am also hopeful that there will be an increased civic participation of youths which will be evident when they come out en masse to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections.