By Victor Nwachukwu
Owerri – A youth leader has condemned alleged manipulation of National Youth Council of Nigeria ( NYCN) by politicians and advocated the inclusion of more young persons in governance.
Mr Izunna Agwuncha, the Southeast Publicity Secretary of NYCM, made the condemnation an interview with News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) in Owerri on Friday.
Agwuncha, who identified one of the challenges facing youth leadership in Nigeria as the manipulation of youth bodies by the political class, said the trend posed a threat to the unity and progress of young Nigerians.
He decried the idea of restricting youths to the position of special adviser on youth affairs to the president and state governors and called for their active inclusion in policy formulation and decision making.
Agwuncha advised youth leaders to speak out on issues affecting the youth instead of sacrificing the well-being of the younger generation for selfish interests.
“The position of Nigerian youths in the Nigeria project is worrisome.
“As those who will someday take over from today’s political elders, it is only imperative that they be actively involved in decision making and policy formulation.
“As Nigeria prepares for her 59thindependence anniversary, it is also worrisome that she is yet to boast of a youth house, more so when we have a fast growing population of over 80 million young persons.
“I call on my fellow youth leaders across the country to eschew sycophancy as a means to political relevance as this could render us incapacitated in the long run.’’
Agwuncha, however, lauded the leadership attributes of the NYCN National President, Mr Bello Shagari.
He described the NYCM president as “a leader with strong political will, proven integrity and strong political background who represents the overall interest of Nigerian youths”.
Agwuncha urged Nigerian youths to support the NYCN leader in the fight against sycophancy and selfishness within the council to prevent disunity and perpetual crisis in the organisation.