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CDS Irabor: It’s risky to ignore youth in decision-making process

Major General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff has disclosed that a reduction in the involvement of youth and their alienation in decision-making would be a recipe for an increase in criminality, anarchy and political instability.

He also expressed fears that such scenarios could lead to the destruction of critical infrastructures, loss of livelihoods and by extension, retardation in the economy and national security.

This was stated on Wednesday by Irabor in Abuja during a two-day youth and security summit with the theme: ‘Building trust for an improved security response in Nigeria’, organized by the Abuja Global Shapers, a non-governmental organization.

The Curator of Abuja Global Shapers, Umar Abdulmalik, said that the initiative would bridge the gap between youths and security agencies to restore peace in communities.

The CDS believed that national security connoted freedom from danger or threat to the nation’s ability to defend and develop itself, promoting its core values and legitimate interests, as well as the ability to enhance the well-being of its citizenry.

He insisted that there must be substantial investments in job opportunities, access to education and good healthcare for Nigerian youths to enable them to thrive and contribute positively to society.

According to him, there is a strong correlation between youth engagement and national security, adding that a meaningful interaction and involvement of a youth populace in governance and administration was likely to facilitate a peaceful and conducive environment for economic growth and development.

Irabor said, “Youth engagement is essentially making the youth ‘part and parcel’ of the fabric of the stability and safety of society towards enhancing national security.

“The converse also holds true; a decrease in the level of youth interaction and alienation in the decision-making processes and developmental activities would result in an increase in violent crimes, anarchy, political instability leading to the destruction of critical infrastructures, loss of livelihoods and by extension, retardation in the economy and impinged national security.

“Thus, it is essential that youths know, understand and imbibe certain core values and qualities that would guide them into being positively engaged towards enhanced national security.

“The Nigerian youth must therefore inculcate the spirit of self-discipline and submission to legitimate authority for a stable and progressive society. I, therefore, urge you to be positively engaged in this regard.

“This is my renewed call for the re-emphasis of value-driven programmes. I will like to implore you all to be agents of value addition. Values often influence one’s behaviour as they aid decision-making between alternatives. I often tell people, ‘don’t strive for legacies, rather pursue value addition and eventually, you will have a legacy.’

“One must build values in the aspects of courage, candour, competence anchored on skills, and commitment in every endeavour. Stakeholders at all levels must strive to create a system that grows the potentials of our youths while discouraging them from engaging in ignoble ventures,” Irabor added.

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