By Olasunkanmi Onifade
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has urged youths to harness their potentials positively for development of the country.
Ibrahim gave the advice in Abuja at the presentation of an award to an FCT Corp Member, Mr Gabriel Ajibola, who won NYSC’s Gender Based Violence (GBV) Social Media Creative Contest.
Ibrahim advised the youths to be the best in whatever they are doing, saying there is always reward for hard-work.
“As youths of this country, you need to maintain your integrity, and be truthful and honest in all endeavours.
“You need to stand out and stand tall, don’t just follow the crowd and seize good opportunity that comes,” Ibrahim said.
According to him, GBV is violation of human rights, saying there is need for more sensitisation on the dangers and the need to curb the menace.
He assured WFD of their support, adding that both men and women should not violated.
Ibrahim said the NYSC would continue to collaborate with existing stakeholders on voter’s education, saying the collaboration between INEC and NYSC had deepened the democratic process in which the WFD supported.
Earlier, the Country Representative of WFD, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, explained that the competition started from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, 2019.
Olorunmola said that the competition had National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members from Abuja, Imo and Osun states as target participants.
He said the contest was organised to support the yearly global 16 days of activism against gender based violence, expressing deep concerns on the high rate of violence against women and youths in the country.
“The assignment is to produce a creative content which depicts a strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
“We had a total of 5,124 engagements on Facebook and Twitter with over 50,900 social media reach.
“Mr Gabriel Ajibola of NYSC FCT, Abuja, won with submission of a spoken words video which garnered a total of 1,682 engagements on social media.
“We remember how the PDP Women leader was killed during the Kogi gubernatorial elections; also just recently a female student of the Lagos state university was killed by her boyfriend and cohorts for money rituals.
“If we have these violations in peace time, what will happen in war time?” he asked.
Adebowale said the declining number of eligible voters every successive year due to various forms of violence further hinders the healthy growth of democracy in Nigeria.
Hence, he said, the competition was organised to put up messages that would appeal to youths and build their confidence in democracy and elections.
“The feedback from our election observation mission shows that every successive year there is a decline in the electoral processes especially the under representation of women and youths. This is dangerous and not healthy for our democracy.
“Youths constitute 60 per cent of the population while women are more than half of the population and if they are not participating in elections we are in trouble because that will mean sidelining majority of the population.
“That is why we are using peer group engagement to put up messages to the youth to build their confidence in democracy and the NYSC has enabled us reach youths at the grassroots because of its spread,” he said.
Responding, Ajibola, who is a Batch “A” 2019 corps member and graduate of Earth Sciences from LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, said that campaigns against GBV were always led by women.
The winner stressed that the advocacy would yield better results if more men support the cause by putting up strong voices against it in the society. (NAN)