Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has urged governments at all levels to engage youths in governance to reduce rising social vices in Nigeria.
Oloyede said this in Nsukka on Tuesday in a keynote address during the third international conference of Grace Uzoma Okonkwo Memorial Foundation in collaboration with the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).
The theme of the conference is “Youth crises in 21st century Africa: An interdisciplinary discourse”.
He said until the problems of unemployment, drug peddling and abuse, moral degeneration, human trafficking and lackadaisical attitude to education were addressed, rate of crime would continue to increase.
“There is urgent and fundamental need for good governance across Africa to solve youth restiveness.
“The system of government in Africa must respect the rule of law, transparency, equity and inclusiveness to move the continent forward.
“It’s good governance that can inspire youths to begin to look inward, to begin to challenge themselves, to begin to tap into their potentials,” he said.
The Registrar was represented by Prof Dapo Asaju, the former Vice-chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo.
He said African youths should be allowed to play leadership role by being elected as presidents, governors, national and state lawmakers and local government chairmen.
“This will give our youths sense of belonging as the future leaders and go a long way in reducing crises in Africa,” he said.
He advocated for promotion of African core values, sacredness of human life, abhorrence of evil materialism and reward for trust, honesty, transparency and dignity.
“There should be constant community advocacy on the evil effects of drug peddling, ritual killings for money, kidnapping as well as other social vices.
“African leaders should create enabling environment with prosperous socio-economic settings that will discourage migration of African youths from the continent.
“More efforts should be made to put an end to socio-political and economic vectors for violence and conflicts across the continent,” he said.
In a remark, Prof Emeka Nwabueze, former Director of Institute of African Studies UNN and Chairman of the occasion, commended the organisers of the conference.
Nwabueze expressed optimism that, the conference would help to find solutions to myriad of problems facing youths in Africa.
Earlier in a remark, Prof Florence Orabueze, the host and convener of the conference said that she instituted the foundation in honour of her late mother, Mrs Grace Uzoma Okonkwo who died in 1983.
Orabueze said the annual conference was a scholarly event, that brainstorm and proffer solution to youth crises, dwindling societal value and other challenges bedeviling the youths in Nigeria and Africa.
“This annual conference is meant to find solutions to many problems facing our youths,” she said.