A cross-section of Ebonyi youths have commended Gov. Dave Umahi for approving the convocation of Ebonyi #ENDSARS youths summit.
They however, called on state government to a avoid politicisation of selection of delegates to the summit designed to discuss issues of great importance to national development.
The youths who spoke to our reporter in separate interviews on Friday in Abakaliki appealed to government to shun all acts that could jeopardise the initiative in order to achieve positive result.
They expressed the hope that convocation of youths summit to discuss national issues on development, security and youths empowerment was a panacea to tackle the myriad of challenges confronting the nation.
The youths urged government not to over bear on the selection of delegates that would represent a broad spectra of youths coming from different social, political and economic backgrounds.
Mr Philemon Ogah, a 22 year old student of Accountancy, Ebonyi State University (EBSU), told NAN that the idea of organising a youth conference in the aftermath of the 2020 #ENDSARS protest was very commendable and a step taken at the right time.
He said that the summit would give youths who constituted greater percentage of the nation’s active population opportunity to contribute to national development.
“We have various youth bodies in our communities and students union bodies in different tertiary institutions where delegates can be chosen from.
“These groups know each members mental and academic capacity and know those who can make effective representation if chosen to attend the summit.
“But, my fear is that government officials may decide to introduce politics into the selection process where by mediocrity will be placed above merit in the process.
“Youths should be allowed to make their choice and take responsibility of whatever is the outcome of the summit based on the choice they made in selecting delegates to the summit,” Ogah said.
Also, Mr Chinedu Mbam urged youths to resist any form of imposition of delegates based on party affiliation by government and take their destiny in their own hands.
“The state youths summit is aimed at bringing youths from all walks of life together through their representatives to discuss national issues of importance to our nationhood, it’s therefore imperative that only those that will make positive contributions are selected.
“The summit is very important and coming at a very critical period in our collective existence as a people, hence should be accorded all seriousness it deserves,” Mbam said.
Another respondent, Mr Elvis Nwankwo, a youth activist urged government not to make the summit a ‘recruitment ground’ for the All Progressives Congress (APC) which currently is on a membership drive in the state.
Gov. Dave Umahi
Nwankwo said: “Good policies and programmes are often truncated by government working in synergy with self-serving politicians.
“The fear of youths who are suffering from mass unemployment is that government may hijack the process and put in those who will only come to execute the whims of their ‘paymasters’ and not to discuss matters that will address problem of nation-building.”
Our correspondent reports that the seven-day youth summit approved by state government was one of the decisions reached at the Ebonyi Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
The state government in furtherance to the decision on Thursday, Feb. 18 inaugurated a State Committee constituted to steer the summit and make it have an eventful outcome.
Summitnews reports that the conference which shall will thousands of Ebonyi Youths representing all sectors of life, in attendance, shall engage on wealth creation; social safety net, employment, education and digital economy.
It will also focus on sports develoment; creative industry, hospitality industry, security, Information Communication Technology (ICT) , and governance processes.