By Progress Godfrey, Abuja
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has urged Nigerian youths to shun social vices and embrace love for one another.
The Minister made this call at a one day Youth Cultural Sensitization Programme in Abuja on Friday, hosted by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), themed: “Nigerian Youths and Nation Building”, stressing the need to give the youth a sense of belonging, engaging them in discussions of their contributions to make Nigeria Great.
Tallen commended the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Runsewe for putting the sensitisation program together which had cultural displays and renditions from students of secondary schools within the FCT, all sending the message of unity, peace and oneness.
She also implored Parents to be tolerant and always find time for their children and teach them to know that the future of Nigeria is in their hands. “Engaging the students, engaging the youth is very important and because a lot is going on within our schools, a lot is going on within our environment. Unless we engage the students and bring out some of these issues that are within our society, for they to know that unless they get out of these bad social vices they can never make Nigeria great.
“So it’s all about engaging them and making them know the key role to play in that. Parents must be tolerant of their children and that is why I talk more about love. When you love one another, you will tolerate one another. When you love one another, you will be kind and then you learn to walk with one another. So love is the keyword, not just to children, but to all Nigerians, ” she said.
The Women Affairs Minister further stated that Nigeria will be great and united if there is oneness, and love for one another regardless of ethnicity or religion
“If we love one another, we will remain as one united nation. But unless we address this issue of me, my tribe or my religion, Nigeria can never be great. We must put aside all things that will divide us, but be sincere to one another. When there is love, there will be peace, there’ll be unity, and there will be fairness and justice.
“May God touch the heart of not just the leaders, but our children. Everyone must join in and be an ambassador of peace to make Nigeria great. And the whole burden is on our youth,” Tallen said.
The DG of NCAC, Otunba Runsewe lamented the frequent news of social vices making the round on social media which involves youths, stressing the need to engage youths meaningfully, letting them understand their role in nation-building.
“Now you will agree with me that in the recent times, we’ve received so many reports on social vices to the extent that some of them are not even fair to discuss. So for us, we have decided to engage the Nigerian youth, which is what we did with some of the schools being here to come and see for themselves how we got here. There’s a strategy today. The youth spoke to us first with drama and music, we are now talking to them inside.
“We are now telling them why it is wrong. The truth is, we need to engage our youth, our youth are taking up foreign cultures because probably nobody’s engaging them. So what we succeeded in doing today is that we have named all the students as the first point cultural ambassadors of Nigeria. And we are also calling all the schools to start a cultural club. That way they can know the culture of each other,” he said.
Reacting to a question on whether he intends to consult religious leaders as they are opinion moulders, he said, “We have to engage the youth first. Then we move to the influencers, to the opinion moulders who are the traditional rulers, the pastors.”