Nigeria at 60: Saraki to speak on open governance at youth conference

Bukola Saraki, former senate president, is scheduled to speak on open governance and democracy at a national youth conference on Thursday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Rukuya Ibrahim, project director of Ernest and Ibrahim Foundation, convener of the conference, said the programme on Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary will focus on issues around right leadership, transparency and accountability.

Other speakers expected at the event are Ishaq Usman Bello, chief judge of the federal capital territory; Ismaeel Ahmed, senior special assistant to the president on social investment; Kolade Akinjo and Simon Karu, members of the house of representatives, and Sam Amadi, coordinator, Abuja School of Political and Social Thought.

Other speakers and panelists include Idris Akinbajo, managing editor of Premium Times; Shola Olapade, leadership and governance consultant; Ndi Katu, rights activist; Hamzat Lawal, founder, Connected Development (CODE); Ibrahim Faruk, programme manager, governance and development, YIAGA Africa, and Chibuzor Okereke, executive director of Project Hope Alive.

According to Ernest Nwosu, the convener, the conference is a platform for Nigerian youth leaders to learn, debate, express ideas, discuss and brainstorm on short-term and long-term strategies for sustainable development.

“The overall objectives of the #FixingNigeria 3.0 is to debate and review the roles of policy makers, lawmakers, media and CSOs in developing more robust strategies that promote accountability and transparency in governance. Secondly, to review and recommend policies that will promote accountability and transparency in governance,” Nwosu said.

“Thirdly would be to teach the youth ways and lawful procedures and processes of holding public leaders accountable while advocating for open government.

“Finally, a very important objective of this national youth conference would be to inspire and teach youth leaders the imperatives and strategies needed to personally equip one’s self with these democratic qualities of accountability and transparency — a bedrock for right leadership, good governance and enduring legacy. We believe that Nigeria is on the verge of the greatest transition it has ever experienced.

“That transition is the possibility of seeing the transformation of the youngest and brightest minds in our country today, to becoming patriots and nationalists; young men and women, who will form the critical mass required to build upon the foundations of our great leaders, past and present; a nation which is driven by strong institutions, visionary and selfless leadership rooted in strong values and democratic tenets.

“The future of the greatest, most diverse, and most prosperous black nation on earth, is right before us, and in the hands of the youth of this country. Collectively, we all must rise and seize the moment.”

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