Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday expressed concern at the growing political insecurity and increased violent extremism in different parts of Africa.
He said Africa was in dire need of selfless service and therefore challenged African youths to prepare themselves to ensure good governance on the continent.
Dogara spoke in his opening remark at a two-day Africa regional conference for Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)-Young Parliamentarians Forum in Abuja.
He said: “The rising political insecurity, violent extremism and crises ravaging Africa is another issue that should be of concern to us as lawmakers.
I want participants at this conference to carefully examine the relationship between youth unemployment/underemployment and upsurge in criminal activities, extremism and armed conflict on the continent.
"I equally crave the indulgence of delegates and other participants at this conference to not only proffer solutions to the challenges raised, but as Members of Parliaments and drivers of positive change.
we must go back to our different countries with the hunger and spirit of pressing for domestication and optimal implementation of the outcomes of our deliberations at this conference"
According to him, issues such as youth engagement and building peaceful societies, countering violent extremism, countering poverty and economic marginalisation as well as eliminating inequalities and promoting good governance must be address. "if we must meet the yearnings of our people".
The speaker lamented that Africa was in dire need of selfless leadership and urged the youth to think on how best to provide it in their countries, stressing that it was pointless to fight for a political position unless one has the competence to perform in it.
He added that the youth can leverage on technology to proffer solutions to Africa problems, adding also that issues such as violent extremism in Africa must be addressed with every sense of urgency.
Dogara also noted that Africa had the fastest growing youth population in the world and called on government at various levels to develop programmes for their political participation, warning that failing to do this would lead to dire social and political consequences.
He admonished young people to be sensitive to the fragile nature of democracy and not to allow themselves to be used for political thuggery.
He called on youths present at the conference to build sustainable forces within their network so as to be able to address the retrogression affecting the African continent.