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Interior Minister Tasks Youths on Positive Use of Digital Tools

By JAMES EZEMA

The Federal Government has called on youths in Nigeria to take advantage of the present digital revolution to channel their energy to good causes through the acquisition of new skills and knowledge sharing so as to nourish human capacity for the socio-economic development of the country.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the call in Lagos during a Stakeholders Engagement on Internal Security and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria. In his speech, titled, “Lagos is the destiny of our race,” Aregbesola described the youth as the pride and glory of any people.

According to a statement signed by the Director, Press & Public Relations, in the Ministry, the Minister noted that “the youths are the pride and glory of any people. We must understand that youths are a unique demography.

“People under the age of 25 constitute 45% of global population, while they are 60% in Africa and the Middle East.

“Today’s youth are a peculiar breed. They are a new generation of the social media and the power of ideas and intellect.

“They appear more intelligent and far more enterprising than 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.

“The digital revolution has increased young people’s capacity to bring about positive social change. ICT gives them the tools to learn new skills, to share knowledge and to nourish human capacity.

“As information flows seamlessly around the planet, young people can more effectively act as catalyst for change – 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 a great asset, they also can be a great risk – to themselves and to the society – if their energy is not positively channelled”, he said.

He observed further that the time has come to rouse the consciousness of their leading lights to confront the charlatans among them.

These charlatans he said, are the elements capable of dragging down society, because according to him, their activities are destructive to society as well as to themselves.

The Minister stated that the stakeholders engagement was convened to proffer lasting solution to security challenges across the state and the country at large, in order to enhance socio-economic development, especially in the wake of the ENDSARS protest, promote unity among diverse ethnic population of the State as well as share knowledge and ideas on matters that could create crisis in the polity and proffer proactive solution, among others.

He added that security challenges are of global concern, noting that despite the present challenges, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration was working towards attaining the most secure state for all Nigerians and would need all hands to be on deck to ensure its realization.

Ogbeni Aregbesola stated further that 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, and therefore called on Nigerians, particularly the youths not to take the relative peace in the country for granted.

He called on all the stakeholders in charge of internal security and those present to bare their minds on how they can make Lagos and the entire South West region that haven of habitation, commerce, economic development and the show-piece of civilization – the best that the first man can offer humanity.

Earlier, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged the support of the good people of Lagos State and by extension, the entire South West region, to President Muhammadu Buhari’s led-Administration in its determination to ensuring peace and security in the country so as to bring about socio-economic development of the nation.

Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alh. Muhammad Dingyadi, condoled with the Lagos State Governor on the destruction of properties.

While reiterating the improvement in the welfare package of Police personnel as evident in the increase in their salaries, he further assured that government has put all necessary steps in place, to protect lives and property of all Nigerians and foreigners alike.

In his remarks, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu urged the Federal Government to grant a special status to the State to enable it empower the youths with jobs.

This he said will address youth restiveness.

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