Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
The Federal Government has called on youths in the country to take advantage of the present digital revolution to channel their energy to good causes through the acquisition of new skills and knowledge.
This, it said, would help them to develop the necessary capacity for the socio-economic development of the country.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Director of Press/Public Relations, Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Manga, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement quoted the Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola as giving the advice in Lagos during a stakeholders’ engagement on Internal Security and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria.
Aregbesola, who described the youth as the pride and glory of any country, said that they were unique demography.
“People under the age of 25 constitute 45 percent of the global population, while they are 60 percent in Africa and the Middle East.
“Today’s youths are a peculiar breed; they are a new generation of social media and the power of ideas and intellect.
“They appear more intelligent and far more enterprising than the previous generations; the deployment of their intelligence is a different matter, which we must all seek to re-channel through positive modelling and gainful employment,” he said.
According to him, the digital revolution has increased young people’s capacity to bring about positive social change.
The minister noted further that the era of information/communication technology (ICT) had since given them the tools to learn new skills, share knowledge, and nourishing human capacity.
“As information flows seamlessly around the planet, young people can more effectively act as catalysts for change, both locally and globally.
“They must, therefore, be commended for the courage to start a movement that shook the foundation of this nation in a way that has never been done before.
“However, much as they are great assets, they can also constitute a great risk to themselves and to the society, if their energy is not positively channelled,” he said.
Aregbesola noted further that the time had come to arouse the consciousness of their leading lights to confront the charlatans among them.
The minister stated that the stakeholders’ engagement was convened to proffer lasting solutions to the security challenges in the state and the country at large.
He explained that the effort was to enhance socio-economic development, especially in the wake of the #EndSARS protests, and promote unity among the diverse ethnic population of the state.
Aregbesola further explained that it was also aimed at sharing knowledge and ideas on matters that could create a crisis in the polity and proffer proactive solutions to them.
He added that security challenges were of global concern, noting that in spite of the present challenges, President Muhammadu Buhari was working towards attaining more secured states for all Nigerians.
Aregbesola said that the President would need all hands to be on deck to ensure that this was realised.
“Armed conflicts and terrorism have devastated large parts of the globe, with 17 countries going through one form of armed conflict or the other, leaving in its wake thousands of dead bodies, ruined landscapes, and a large army of internally-displaced persons.
Nigerians, particularly the youth, must, therefore, not to take the relative peace in the country for granted,” he said.
He called on all the stakeholders in internal security to bare their minds on how they could make Lagos and the entire South-West zone haven of habitation.
Earlier, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had pledged the support of the people of the state and the South-West zone to the Buhari-led administration in its determination to ensure peace and security in the country.
This, he said, was to bring about the much-needed socio-economic development to the country.
Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Dingyadi, condoled with Sanwo-Olu on the destruction of property in the state during the recent EndSARS protests.
Dingyadi reiterated the government’s commitment to improving the welfare of police personnel, saying this was evident in the increase in their salaries.
He further said that the government had put all necessary measures in place to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and foreigners alike.
The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, urged the Federal Government to grant special status to the state to enable it to empower the youth with the provision of jobs.
The royal father noted that such development would go a long way in addressing youth restiveness in the country.