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2023: Onofiok Luke tells Nigerian youths How to Be In Power

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A member of the House of Representatives, Onofiok Luke, has told Nigerians youths there is a need to be intentional about making their voices heard and offering inputs towards building the country.

Luke, 43, representing Etinan/ Nsit Ibom/ Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency, said that “power is not always given, but taken” and that “sitting still and waiting for someone to stand up for you is outdated”.

The Akwa Ibom legislator was speaking at Arthur Jarvis University Guest Talk Series on Youth Participation in Nation Building at the University multiple purpose hall Akapabuyo, Calabar, April 12.

Onofiok Luke

He said: “I am here to tell you that one of the major truths is the fact that for this country to be better then, the youths need to engage their energies in the right way and participate in national activities with sincerity of purpose.

“They must hold the right advocacies and stop the ‘nothing concern me’ anthem. The truth remains that everything done at the National Assemblies, State Assemblies, the Aso Rock and the various government houses in Nigeria concerns you.

“It is also pertinent to note that youths represent the future of any country and the quality of youths a country breeds is directly proportional to the quality of its future.”

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The former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly said he had been deeply impressed by the vision of Dubai and generally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The story of Dubai is one I am very fond of. Is it not amazing how a forsaken desert has become the commercial hub of the world and destination of choice for all citizens of the world?”

On how the youths can contribute their quota so that Nigeria can duplicate what the UAE has done, he said “it is impossible to participate when you are not prepared as preparation precedes participation”.

“While, we cannot underrate the importance of youth participation in nation building, we should not also overlook the negative effects of having unprepared youths in the business of nation building.

“So, it is pertinent to do a level of self assessment to find out if you’re fit and prepared to participate in governmental processes. This preparation involves a deep study on leadership and the various systems in civilized countries, compare them with the system here, seek for loopholes and have solutions handy, such that as you begin to participate, you become a solution to the problems of the country and not one of the problems of the country; this therefore means that youths must become readers, youths must develop keen interest on solution finding not just for their pockets but for the country.”

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Luke went on: “An era should come where we are not only interested in how to put food on our table but we also become interested in making our nation a better place, so that our brothers in other regions can also be able to put food on their own table.

“Like the former American President, John F. Kennedy said, ‘ask of what you can do for America and not what America can do for you’. What can you do for Nigeria to get better? Could it be that the nation is where it is today because you have refused to participate in its building process, because you have refused to do what you can do for Nigeria? Like you rightly would ask, if youths are the leaders of tomorrow, when shall this tomorrow come? That tomorrow can be today if we begin to participate in the building process of our nation,” he added.

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