Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh has counseled governments at all levels and religious leaders on the need to empower Nigerian youths in order to secure the future of the country.
Okoh made the call in Abuja at the maiden edition of the interactive session of eminent Anglicans members with Primate held to chart a way forward for the growth of the church as well as its future.
He said the gathering was important for fellowship and for the opportunity to meet as members of the same Christian family to interact on the issues that could have great impact on the future of our church.
According to him, “the situation of our youths is a particular concern at the time. Any church or nation that fails to care for its youths is jeopardising its future. If we are to have a future as a church and as a society, the training and development of our youths in our different localities must occupy a front burner for us.”
Okoh added: “So many youths, who have graduated from higher institutions are jobless and have nothing to engage them positively. The tendency is that they become discouraged and demoralised.
“Many are tempted to join social vices and crimes that are predominant in our land today. It’s almost as if they are wasting their entire lives; many have become hopeless and disturbed. As they were struggling to live in the face of unemployment, the recession came, to worsen the situation,” he lamented.
The primate noted that there was need for the private sector to join force in rescuing the youth of this country by providing them with gainful employment.
“Yet, I must add that, having good role models and mentors to guide these young people, offering them creativity guidance that can help them start independent business and grow into respectable entrepreneurs is the task I wish to recommend to you seriously. Our youths must not be allowed to become tools in the hands of the devil” warned.
The Primate however called on Christian faithful to always put God first in whatever they are doing by shunning corruption and other unlawful acts, stressing that Christians need to be God’s light in the world they live.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Delta State, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa opined that empowerment of the youths should not rest on the shoulder of the government alone saying everybody should be involved.
He charged the church to always look after the needy: “It’s not just to guide them spiritually; it’s about them being visibly engage through some micro credit scheme. We need to redirect them and empower them on vocational skill; it’s not about degrees you have, not about the best certificates, it’s about getting them engage.
“Our focus right now in Delta state is about getting our youths to acquire skills and also getting them engaged. We have already trained several of our youths in the area of Agriculture, Fish farming, Poultry as well as Crop development; we have officially trained over 2,500 youths and equipped them fully on their own into their businesses and some of them are already employing others.” he said.