The National Youth Assembly (NYAN) has called on Lagos State residents particularly traders to change their mindset on indiscriminate disposal of wastes and attitude to environment.
The Lagos State chapter of the assembly made the call on Saturday, August 12, 2023, at a sensitisation programme in collaboration with Oshodi-Isolo Local Government to commemorate the 2023 International Youth Day (IYD).
The 2023 UN International Youth Day is themed “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”.
The youth group used the occasion to embark on sensitisation and awareness campaign on environmental hazards as well as cleaning and sanitation in Oshodi-Isolo neighbourhood and markets.
Speaking, Mr Adeola Aderibigbe, the newly sworn-in speaker of NYAN, Lagos State, who described the 2023 theme as apt in line with climate change, said that it would arm individuals with skills and abilities needed for a safer environment.
According to Aderibigbe, the assembly chose Oshodi-Isolo markets to educate and sensitise residents as well as cleaning the environment because of the centrality of the council area.
“We need to educate our people because many of these human activities have negative effects on climate. When the roads are littered and dirts have their way into the drainage system, it affects the environment.
“Also, those who engage in bush burning which emits smokes and carbondioxide to the ozone layers need to be sensitised.
“This sensitisation which seeks to change the mindset and orientation of residents, especially market men and women is apt.
“We want the people to be conscious of their environment by not littering the places to prevent the hazard of flooding and other negative events,” he said.
Leading his team in cleaning drains and streets, Aderibigbe said that he was convinced the residents would heed the message.
He advised other youth organisations to help sensitise the people on their civic duties and commitment to the society.
Also, Mr Emmanuel Benjamin, National Deputy Speaker, NYAN, commended the Lagos State chapter for its efforts in bringing positive attitudinal change among the people.
“The NYAN Lagos is positioning and aligning itself to project the vision of NYAN by taking the lead, which was why we coined the words, Lagos leads and others follow,” Benjamin said.
According to him, the national executive of NYAN is proud of Lagos State chapter’s achievements and landmarks.
Benjamin also applauded the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babjide Sanwo-Olu, and the Executive Chairman of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Chief Kehinde Oloyede, for their support.
“I want to implore other youth organisations to learn from the activities of NYAN by engaging in societal work and not just dish out award to politicians for personal gains.
“If we want to change Nigeria, the change must begin with us as individuals but some youths choose to just give award to politicians.
“We are supposed to drag politicians out to work hard instead of given them awards when they have not performed,” he added.
In his remarks, Mr Olufemi Ajayi, Supervisory Councilor for Environment, Oshodi local Government, appreciated NYAN for choosing the council area for the commemoration of this year’s IYD.
Ajayi said that no fewer than 80 per cent of the council cabinet members were youths, saying the council chairman “believes and support anything youth project.”
By Adeyemi Adeleye