Defend Nigeria’s Future, Cast Your Votes in 2023 Elections, Arese Carrington, Others Urge Youths

Defend Nigeria’s Future, Cast Your Votes in 2023 Elections, Arese Carrington, Others Urge Youths

By Rebecca Ejifoma

As the 2023 general election inches closer, Nigerian youths have been urged to defend the future of the nation by participating actively in the electioneering and casting their votes for the right candidates. 

The call was made by Dr Arese Carrington, wife of former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington and other leaders on Thursday in Lagos at the second edition of the Ambassador Walter Carrington Annual Symposium themed, “Rethinking Youth Engagement for National Development,.

At the symposium organised by the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI), Dr. Carrington and other speakers, including US Consul General, Will Stevens,  underscored the importance of youth engagement in nation-building. 

“Youth engagement is important in nation building. Social justice, environmental justice and a better future for the youth are issues you should engage in. 

“Elections are about the future. Defend the future of the country by casting your vote and become a participant, not a bystander,” Carrington said.

While reminding the youths that they have strength and character, she encouraged them to be involved in decisions that affect their future, adding, “The future belongs to you”.

Speaking on the late Ambassador’s legacies, the public health consultant noted, “The Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI) tries to address some of these challenges through its programmes.”

According to Carrington, the programme has effected positive change in the country and globally through projects developed and implemented in civil liberties, education, public health, university outreach and vocational training. 

On his part, the US Consul-General, Will Stevens, charged the youths to hold their leaders accountable. “Don’t complain about them, that they aren’t fixing the problems. You are they.

“We build a better society when the leaders of any organisation take responsibility for the problem and find out how to fix it.”

While describing Nigerian youth as solution-oriented, the Founder/Senior Pastor of Trinity House Church, Ituah Ighodalo, implored the youths to vote for a presidential candidate that will represent the nation’s interests.

He added: “The youths should have started a long time ago, especially when they were seeming to get organised. They should have decided who they wanted. 

“They did not know how powerful they are but now they know. They should just gather themselves together and decide who they want.”

During the second panel of discussion, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Seun Fakorede commended the organisers of the symposium. 

“More than ever we need such a programme like this because we need to recalibrate the mindset of our youths. 

“They need to see it in such a way that all these things about youth empowerment and youth engagement is not rocket science,” says Fakorede.

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