Former Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) Sheik Taofeek Akeugberu Akeugbagold has said it is only the youths who can rescue Nigeria from its present political, social and economic crises.
The Islamic cleric made this disclosure Monday evening in Ibadan, the state capital.
Nigeria has over the years continued to battle political, social and economic crises such as terrorism, unemployment, poverty, high inflation, insecurity, decaying public infrastructure and collapse of social institutions among others.
Akeugbagold while speaking at Shina Peller’s annual Ramadan lecture in Ibadan, insisted that any country that does not allow its youths participate in governance is likely to remain the same.
The Islamic cleric advised Nigerians to vote for youths as their leaders because they are the ones who have the mental and physical capacity to rescue the country from contemporary challenges.
Delivering the lecture titled “2023 Election and Youth Participation for National Development: The Islamic Perspective”, Akeugbagold challenged Nigerian youths to wake up from their slumber and contest for elective positions in 2023.
He also urged Nigerians to vote for the best candidates with the capacity to deliver, irrespective of the religious or ethnic backgrounds of such persons, warning that progress will remain a mirage in a country like Nigeria, which places ethnic and religious considerations above merit.
“Any country that does not allow youths to participate in decision making will not move forward. When we are talking about the progress of a country, you have to shun religious or ethnic sentiments. Religion is for moral and spiritual purposes.
“It is the youths that can rescue Nigeria. It happened in Ghana, one of their leaders, Jerry Rawlings killed many people to sanitise the country. It is the youths that can do it. Youths should wake up. In China, it was the youths that did it. China took the youths to the industries and Nigeria took the youths to Churches and Mosques expecting miracles.
“Churches are making billions without paying taxes but companies that are making millions without paying taxes are shut. So, the youths, you need to rise and wake up.
“When you enter the UK, you will be seeing companies, and industries, when you enter China, you will be seeing companies and industries, but when you enter Lagos, Ibadan in Nigeria, you will be seeing Churches and Mosques along the streets. We want the citizens, the government to give the youths the chance to rule the country in 2023”.
The member representing Iseyin/ Itesiwaju/ Kajola/ Iwajowa federal constituency, Shina Abiola Peller, in his remarks, implored journalists to intensify efforts in helping to correct the social problems militating against the survival of the country.
The lawmaker also asked journalists to use all the instruments at their disposal to help in making sure that there is a functional system that works for all in the country.
He said, “There can never be societal development in a country governed by a faulty system. Our country is presently confronted with so many challenges and this can be attributed to a system failure.
“So, we need to create a functional system that will make the existing one obsolete, and you the fourth estate of the realm have a very significant role to play. Dear beloved journalists, as watchdogs of the society that you are, I implore you to intensify your efforts in helping to correct the societal ills in our country”.