The son of the late Chief Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 1993 Presidential elections, Mr. Abdul Abiola, has urged the Federal Government to declare June 12 as Nigerian Youth Day.
Abiola made the call at a rally in Lagos organised by the Nigerian Youth Leadership Group to mark the World International Day of the Youth.
August 12 is set aside by the United Nations to mark the World Youth Day.
Speaking after a walk in Ikeja, which terminated at the Governor’s Office, Abdul, son of the late Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, said the youth contributed greatly to the electoral success of the late MKO.
He said, “Nigeria needs to recognise its youths and give a special day to celebrate them.
“June 12 cannot be swept under the carpet and the youth, who are the future of the nation, will be gingered up if such a special day as June 12 is set aside for them.”
He however explained that declaring June 12 for the youth did not mean that it should not be set aside as Democracy Day as advocated by many Nigerians.
“June 12 can be celebrated as Democracy and Youth Day and will not contradict anything,” he said.
National Coordinator, NYLAG, Mr. Onyekachi Eze, said June 12 should be declared Youth Day to honour those that lost their lives, especially the youth.
He said, “Some African countries such as Cameroon, Republic of Congo and South Africa among others have special dates to celebrate and discuss issues that are central to the existence of their youth.”
Meanwhile, another group, Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment, has charged leaders in the country to rekindle the hope of the youth by addressing their challenges.
President of SMILE, Mrs. Bimpe Gbamgbose-Martins, said this in Lagos at the 2013 International Youth Day organised by the group in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre with the theme, Youth Migration, Moving Development Forward.
She said, “For any nation to drive meaningful progress and change, it must keep its focus on the youth.”
Earlier, the United Nations Information Officer, Mrs. Olajumoke Araba, urged nations of the world to put in place clear cut programmes to help assist youths to become good future leaders.