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Pat Utomi: Why youths should participate actively in student unions

Pat Utomi: Why youths should participate actively in student unions
October 19
20:17 2021

Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy, says the active participation of youths in student unions will translate to effective leadership skills.

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Speaking on Tuesday at an event tagged ‘One Year after #EndSARS, 35 years after Dele Giwa & Quest to Remake Nigeria’, Utomi said political ideologies should be introduced to youths from their school days to groom them into national leaders.

His statement comes on the backdrop of the involvement of youths in the #EndSARS protests.

Many Nigerians had, in October 2020, stormed streets across the country to protest against police brutality, especially the activities of the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

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Citing examples of Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria during the military era as youths, Utomi said young people need to be encouraged to participate actively in politics.

“If you look at the leaders of the world today, they are young people. And when I researched the history of these young leaders, I realised that the majority of them were groomed from their days in university,” he said.

“In their days in the university, they are groomed with political ideologies and when they graduate, they already know what and what are in the party.

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“People ask me the solution to good leadership. I say it is the participation of our students in school unions. 

“The majority of us here are products of unionism. Majority of the leaders that have ruled started as youths as well.”

On October 4, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had asked young Nigerians to contest for elective positions in the 2023 elections if they want to take over power, noting that participation in politics should not be mere rhetoric.

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