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A policy advocacy group under the aegis of Citizens’ Common International, on Thursday, said Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, which holds on Saturday, would be coming at a time that called for sober reflection and collective action.
The organisation also said the country at present “is far from the dreams of its founding fathers”, adding that a time like this required a sharp focus on building a nation that works for the many and not a few.
The Executive Director of the CCI, Olalekan Oshunkoya, who said these at a press conference in Abuja, therefore, enjoined all Nigerians to contribute their quota towards steering the country away from the brinks.
“In the next few hours, Nigeria will be celebrating its 62nd Independence Anniversary, and this is another opportunity to reflect in our collective responsibility as Nigerians to take actions; to be solution providers and responsible citizens, and to build our country,” he said.
According to him, the CCI would be collaborating with critical stakeholders to conduct a national survey among the youths on what elected leaders should be doing to birth the new Nigeria the young people desire.
Oshunkoya explained that the research with the title, ‘The Nigeria Youth Voice Survey’, would be expected to cover 24 cities and the Federal Capital Territory.
He said it would also examine the principles and practices that shape the country’s development as well as enable the youths to inform the policy makers of their priorities with evidence.
Oshunkoya said, “The Nigerian Youth Voice Survey is a special effort dedicated to capturing the experiences, opinions, ideas, and thoughts of young Nigerians about the future of Nigeria and our roles in it.
“As we explore our picture in Nigeria’s future, we are asking our peers to share their experiences on what it means to be Nigerian. We are also asking about deepening our democracy, political participation, inclusion, and active citizenship.”
He stated that the youths now recognise that “the future of Nigeria is in their hands”, adding that they must be intentional about the policy, politics, as well as principles and practices that shape national development and government priorities.
Oshunkoya said, “Hence, the use of evidence-based resources to engage our leaders and stakeholders on our hopes, aspirations for the future.
“As such, the conversation explores a unique opportunity to capture the best of you to voice in topical areas from insecurity to political participation, our Nigerian identity, deepening democracy leadership, education, health, as social, political and economic realities.
“It offers a new way to amplify our voice and share with our peers, what we think our leaders should be doing to birth the new Nigeria we desire and our role in it.”
Also, the Director-General, International Law, Diplomacy & Economy Research Centre, Ndubuisi Idejiora-Kalu, said the findings and opinions from the survey would be compiled into a publication titled: ‘A Nigeria for the many: A manifesto for the Nigeria we desire’.
“The key objective of the conversation is to identify key issues of importance to young Nigerians that our leaders should focus on. It is also to help us develop a series of ideas and recommendation based on the thoughts from the youths which will be presented to our policy makers,” he said.