Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe through his Baywood Foundation has launched a new book titled: Beyond Rhetoric, Youth Empowerment and Political Voice in Nigeria. The event, which took place at Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Rd, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, 30th day of November 2018 had eminent Nigerians, several TV and radio media journalists in attendance.

Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe, who hails from Enugu State, Nigeria, in his opening comment reflected on the attitude of someone who wants to attain to greatness and he also said he believes in giving back to humanity, said that he is responsible for pulling his people from the doldrums and put them in the centre stage.

“Nigerians love to talk every time but we are not doing much. The title of the book has been chosen to examine the all-talk and no action. There are various vices in Nigeria such as exam malpractices. The title of the book reflects on those who remain resolute in the fight to survive.

“Baywood Foundation is proud to state that its efforts on the Nigerian youths are triumphant. Solution to Nigeria’s problems lies in affirmative action. We have to go beyond mere rhetoric. Unless youths are given opportunity to be part of governance, we cannot lift the country up for development. We must let the youths know about the power of participation,” he said.

He also propounded a story of “A parent known as Nigeria gave birth to children who became wild and unruly because they were not given an education or skills. At the other side of the street, another family took care of their children and the turned out well.”

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Nigerian youths have the ability to turn around and make the future brighter but they have always been treated unfairly. The 140 million youths in Nigeria have been left unemployed for a long time and the empowerment of these youths who ought to be assets and not liabilities, but Nigeria has deliberately turned away from these and that is the crux of the ailment we see in the society today.

According to the Emperor, Baywood Foundation had been perturbed with the situation in which the Nigerian youth finds himself or herself. Closing his remarks, Says the reason why the book is published is for “my children, your children.”

In his remark, Book Presenter, H. Odein Ajumogobia – SAN said that the next 15 years, there’s going to be more than a hundred more Nigerians. Just pause and think about, he emphasized. “There is need to empower our youths. They have a lot of power and their numbers are enormous. They have a voice but they need to organize themselves so that the voice can be heard.”

According to hime, “Nigerian youths cannot empower themselves, because anyone in a hopeless situation cannot lift himself out, except somebody else helps him.”

Chairman of the event, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere said that the book title Beyond Rhetoric is a castigation and it means that something must be done. He also alluded to statement made by Chief Host of the event that youths must take affirmative action to make their dreams come true. For example, he says, those who have money will not just hand over that money to the youths; they have to go out there and convince the older generation to invest in them.

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Ijewere said that Nigerian youths must “go out there and grab whatever they want. Nigerian youths must take advantage and change Nigeria. Say to yourselves that it is your time to take over in Nigeria, like Manuel Macron did in France.”

Dr. Hussein Abdu, who confessed to not having read the book, said he had been involved in youth issues across Africa. However, there is a challenge which has to deal with the definition of who a youth is. Apart from that, there is also a big challenge regarding what youths want and how to satisfy their wants.

Abdu spoke within the thoughts of essentialism and despondency, youth’s development and politics in Nigeria. His remark emphasized the vital role that youths have played worldwide in the last 10 years to bring about change. That change, he said, is not just about politics but also about development issues. However, authorities subject youths to unfair scrutiny as the case often happens in Abuja, where a young person who drives out early in the morning will surely be stopped by police and go through rigorous checking.

According to Abdu, “Nigerian youths who had no voice has gone on social media and finding their space. These have changed the course of matters but Nigeria is not improving because these youths are not in power.”

However, Abdu reaffirmed his trust in Nigerian youths and said that if the adults fail to unite, youths can unite the country.

Before he ended his remarks, he also mentioned that Nigeria is full of programmes that are youth motivated.

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“In the 60’s the first military coup was led by young people. However, today, there are oddities such as having a youth leader who is 70 years old.”

To end his remarks, he said that young people are doing better these days. The North West produced the highest number of candidacy in political matter in 2015 and that still government is not doing what it should to assist Nigerian youths.

Prof. Patricia came on the stage and gave a short review of the newly released book, Beyond Rhetoric, Youth Empowerment and Political Voice in Nigeria.

The review examined chapters and sections of the book and at each step, she alluded to youth empowerment and why Nigeria is under-developed. Youths should crave and be given the full right to vote and must not watch and see the elders destroy their resolve for affirmative action. One interesting part of the book referred to the reduction of legal age. For at least 14 times, the reviewer urged the youths in attendance to read the book.

In attendance were the Empress Baywood Ibe, wife of Emperor a few dignitaries from Enugu State and other states in Nigeria.

 

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