ARCHBISHOP Victor Olasemojo, Northern Provincial Head, Church of the Lord Prayer Fellowship, has called on Nigerian politicians to make politics less expensive to encourage youths’ participation.
He made the call in an interview with newsmen at the Youth National Convention of the Church on Sunday in Abuja.
The theme of the convention is “Unfailing Love”.
Olasemojo said that the reason for dearth of youths’ representation in Nigerian politics was because of the rule of the game which “is about having enough money to spend.”
According to him, not only money, there are other things that go with it because a lot of people call politics a dirty game but that is not correct.
Olasemojo said that the belief that politics was a dirty game was wrong, and urged Christian youths to see politics as a way to serve the people.
He said the youths, especially in the church, needed orientation because of moral breakdown in the society as well as lack of the fear of God.
He urged parents to bring their children up in the way of God, “teach them to fear God and do His will”.
“When you have the fear of the Lord and you work according to His will, prosperity will come in.
“And, youths being the leaders of tomorrow, need to be put on a strong footing so as to become leaders of tomorrow.
“If you have youths that are wayward today, you don’t expect them to be good leaders tomorrow because it doesn’t work that way.
“If you have the fear of God, you will do the right thing in whatever position you find yourself; people will know it and enjoy it,” the cleric said.
On his part, President, Youth Ministry of the church, Mr Adebayo Kehinde, said that the current political landscape in Nigeria was not favourable to young people.
Kehinde urged politicians and the government to make politics less expensive, saying that the amount of funds needed to run for political office in the country was quite huge.
According to him, we must start by agreeing that young people are not too young to run for public offices.
“We are hopeful that we will get to the point in our social lives, where we can revert to those times in this country when young people in their late and early 30s were given opportunity.
“Youths must be allowed to develop their own ideas, suitable for the running of this country without necessarily judging them from the largeness of their pockets.
“Let us make it less expensive and also specifically make laws that would guarantee young people elective positions.
“We can even go a step further by reserving positions, just as they are reserving for women, by reserving specific political positions for young people by different political parties.
“Whether it is the ruling party or the opposition party, we will be sure that whichever party that is in power, young people are given opportunity,” he said.
Kehinde said that the youth convention was designed to look at the growing rate of unemployment which affected everyone, including members of the church.
He also disclosed that the growing number of young people often involved in corruption was also a major challenge within and outside the church.
“Our conference has been designed to bring together scholars and religious leaders to see how best we can fix these challenges.
“We are going to be here for about three days to brainstorm on what we can do as young people, even in the face of these diverse challenges that we face in our daily living.
“We are hoping that at the end of the conference, our youths will be well-equipped to face life and challenges more without necessarily going into social vices like corruption,” he said.
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