Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly urged youths of the State to actively participate in political activities to be able to influence policies that affect them.
The Speaker gave the advice at a Public Hearing on a bill for a law to implement a sustainable youth policy framework through the establishment of Akwa Ibom Youth Development Fund organized by the state assembly.
Mr. Luke noted that with effective participation in party politics, the youths would have the opportunity to take part in policy formulation.
The speaker maintained that the relative speed in the progress of the bill in the legislature was partly due to the fact that the house of assembly was made up of mostly young people.
Mr. Luke urged the youth not to mortgage their votes in the forthcoming general elections but should vote for only those that would advance the course of youths in the country and enlarge the political space for youths.
He decried the high cost of nomination forms for elective offices by political parties and advised the youths to advocate for reduction in the cost as most youths cannot afford to collect the forms to seek elective offices.
The speaker added that when the proposed Akwa Ibom Youth Development Fund was established, it would provide easy funding for innovations and initiatives of youths which will lead employment of youths.
Also speaking, the Senior Special Adviser to the governor on youth matters, Mr. Aniefiok Iwaudofia, lauded the initiators of the bill and expressed the hope that the bill would be passed and signed into law before the next general elections.
Representatives of the police, Department of State Services, civil society organizations, youth groups and other stakeholders presented memoranda at the event.