Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has advised youths from the Niger Delta region to adopt a non-violent approach in their agitation for a better deal and improved condition of living in their area.
Akpabio took this position at the programme of the flag-off of leadership and empowerment training programme for Niger Delta host communities organised by the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC) in collaboration with Equatorial Richfields at the National Women Centre, Abuja.
Akpabio, who was represented at the occasion by a former member of the Board of Directors of CLTC, Ambassador Abah Lewis, agreed with the youths that agitation is an integral part of growth and development of any society as well as a way of advancing democracy and inclusive governance, however added that in trying to make their feelings and positions known to government and the society at large, the youths should avoid actions that would destroy lives and property
The former governor of Akwa Ibom state said that as a lawmaker, he will continue to use his influence and position to advocate for the enactment of laws that would help to ensure justice and fairness to the people of Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.
In his presentation, Alhaji Yunusa Tanko, who served as both the keynote speaker and Father of the Day said Nigerian leaders owe Nigerian youths an apology for the manner in which they have governed the nation over the years.
Recalling that former Military Heads of State including Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Muhammadu Buhari as well as some civilian leaders served the nation at very young age, Tanko argued that a situation where young men and women, even at the age of forty are denied access to leadership positions is a misnomer that must be corrected.
While stating that leadership in Nigeria has not affected Niger Delta youths positively, Yunusa appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to visit the Niger Delta region to reassure the people of his government’s concern for their welfare.
Speaking at the event, National Coordinator of the project and convener of the programme, Marcus Okotete, said the training programme was to empower the youths and women as well as have documentation of all beneficiaries for follow-up and continuous mentorship.