Former Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has challenged Nigerian youths to go beyond political engagement on social media and take practical steps towards political participation and collective action.
The former All Progressives Congress (APC) National Publicity Secretary, gave the admonition while speaking at a programme organized by a digital news platform, The Avalon Daily, as part of activities marking this year’s International Youth Day.
He equally encouraged the youths to join a political party of their choice and actively participate beyond social media, this he described as the most effective way to change political leadership.
Abdullahi noted that while Nigeria’s young population wield immense power through the use of digital technology, it must also take practical steps to occupy the political parties and restore strong democratic values, credentials and ideals.
“If the youths are to lead Nigeria’s quest for prosperity and transformation, it will be because of this unique power that has been wielded through the use of social media and if they are going to fail on this mission, it will be because of the misuse of this same power.
“If Nigerian youths want real political power, it can not be done through social media engagement alone, they must get into the political space” Abdullahi said
Abdullahi further noted that the illusion of participation where young people only engage on social meida without practical effort has led to what can be described as action paralysis “often times where action is demanded, Nigerian youths are contented with social media engagement solely”.
Abdullahi also called for value reorienation and reengineering particularly at the individual and family level.
“The national transformation that we all seek can only happen through the transformation of individuals, it is only by the transformation of individuals that we can hope to restore politics back to its original purpose which is to promote the dignity of humanity and justice,” he concluded.
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