Youth in Bayelsa State have set agenda for the next governor of the state at the 1st Orange Movement Youth Convocation with the theme: Building Bayelsa State Together Through Participatory Democracy: The Youth Perspective.
Over 600 youth from tertiary institutions and youth groups across the state participated at the event which took place on Friday in Yenagoa was organised by a non-governmental organisation, the Coalition for Development and Democracy in Bayelsa (CDDB).
The occasion also had in attendance, spiritual fathers, traditional rulers, aides to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, politicians, civil society groups and other stakeholders in the Bayelsa Project.
It is the first time that youth have attended such an event in their numbers as they search for inclusion in the democratic process at a time that the issues of vote buying and violence undermine democratic values.
In a communique issued at the end of the programme and signed by CDDB Executive Director, Ekiyor Welson, the youth stressed the need for a declaration of a campaign against the twin challenges of ignorance and poverty.
They agreed to build a consensus and use their large population to lead a revolution against bad leaders in order to right the wrongs in the education system which is skewed against students from poor background.
They called on youth across the state to “shun all inducements in electing the best candidates during elections” and “make electoral choices for the growth and development of the state.”
The communique also called on legislators to hold consultations with their constituents in order to entrench a bottom-top approach to the issue of development while the evil of imposition of candidates on the electorate should cease in the state.
On drug abuse, the youth were advised to desist and pursue the best education while calling on the government to ensure that scholarships are awarded to indigent students on merit and not patronage.
They called for an uncompromising stance to exterminate negative effects of poor leadership, self reliance and urged government to provide adequate opportunities for the youth.