A group, the Nigerian Youth Dialogue Group, NYDG, has called on the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, which recently issued a quit notice to the Igbo residing in the Northern part of the country, to redirect the notice to Boko Haram insurgents wreaking havoc in their domain.
Addressing journalists after its meeting in Enugu, the group described the notice to Igbo as completely misplaced and needless.
“The Arewa Youth should set their priority right by directing the quit notice to Boko Haram insurgents ravaging the Northern parts of the country as well as to corruption, unemployment and other vices militating against the socio-political and economic development of Nigeria.
“It is difficult to restructure a building with a faulty foundation, what we need is total reconstruction,” the group said.
The convener of NYDG, Gideon Chidiebere, said the group was poised to mount a national youth dialogue across the country to change the negative narrative of ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, hate speeches and corrupt political system foisted on the Nigerian youth by elderly ones especially the “crooked political class”.
He stated that their advocacy for dialogue was not out of cowardice or fear but because it is a civilized thing to do as dialogue remains the lubricant for national cohesion and development and that there was no substitute to it.
“Our country needs us (youth) now more than ever to stand and defend her from herself and most importantly from her enemies, especially enemies within that are responsible for the unemployment we have today, the insecurity that is threatening our collective existence, poor standard of living, particularly hunger that may wipe us out if we do nothing, poor health care, poor standard of education, etc”.
Also speaking, Humphrey Onyima, a youth activist, pointed out that Nigeria needed to set pretense aside in search of unity, adding that negative tendencies such as injustice, inequality and lopsidedness in the political system must be addressed first.
The group is made up of representatives of National Youth Council of Nigeria from various states, students’ leaders, and bodies, Igbo Youth Forum and other Igbo youth organizations.