Northern youths must seek human capital development, take over the political process, wage war against corruption and bad governance and instil a process of public accountability if they were to be liberated from the backwardness that had bedevilled the region.
Ex-national secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Usman Bugaje, who made the call in Kaduna, while addressing a northern youth summit organised by the Arewa Citizens Action for Change (ACAC), said the youth had to define what future they wanted.
He said the youth must change the current political recruitment system by injecting character, competence and capacity into Nigerian politics.
He said: “It is the human capital development in the agenda that will do the magic. The 21st century is the century of knowledge and the competitive edge is in education and creativity.
“The youth must stop agonising and start organising, take over the political process starting from the recruitment system through to elections and subsequently take over the war against corruption and bad governance.”
President of the Northern Youth Forum, Malam Jibril Tafida, in his paper entitled “The Importance of Democracy and Youth Development in Nigeria,” said “Nigeria is a failed state considering the present circumstance of terror and insurgency.”
He said: “The state deeply sank into terror when insurgents or illegal groups competed for supremacy with the state. It is important to briefly reflect on the undemocratic nature of governance in Nigeria that opened the door of grief, mass frustration, distrust and violence.”
Convener of the summit, Malam Nastura Sheriff, said: “It is regrettable that the North today is politically and economically estranged, deeply immersed in the muddy ocean of poverty and illiteracy, and worsened by deadly war of annihilation that takes hundreds of lives of young northerner daily.
“More regretting is the fact that while the north faces this imminent and present danger, its leaders past and present remain indifferent and in most cases, fan the embers of ethnic and religious hatred, disunity and distrust while furthering their individual personal interest.”