The immediate-past Secretary to Anambra State Government, a public policy expert and a PDP governorship aspirant in the November 18governorship poll in the state has called for more inclusion of youths into mainstream national discourse if the peace we all long for is to be achieved.
Obaze made this call on Wednesday while responding to questions bothering on the recent threat by Arewa Youths to Igbos.
Obaze who regretted that certain people would want to turn citizens into IDPs and refugees in their own country said the ongoing dialogue must be extended to the youths on both sides of the divide, if it is to achieve desired results.
“What we need to do is to manage this situation in a very proactive manner. And in that, we must commend the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo for what he is doing to assuage frayed nerves.
“The Acting President talking to Northern elders and leaders, and their counterparts in the South is a proper thing to do, but we would have thought that the youths would also be brought in. This country belongs to them at the end of the day.”
Acting President Osibanjo had, in a meeting with Northern elders and royal fathers on Tuesday, called on them to counsel their youths. But the former top United Nations’ official insists the dialogue must be expanded to include the youths.
“The youths from the North and the South should be brought together to dialogue. In so doing, they will begin to find out that they have more similarities than differences.
“Ten, fifteen years from now, these youths will find themselves in positions of authority and if their mindsets continue to be what they are expressing now, then we are in danger. We must bring them together to discuss, it is the absence of dialogue that creates dichotomy.”
Obaze, when asked about forceful repression of protesters, said the constitution allows people freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. He said it is unlawful for security agencies to fire live shots at people gathering for peaceful assembly.
“Police and other security agencies have the responsibility of arriving at protest grounds with water cannons and rubber bullets, not live ammunition. That should be saved for armed criminals.” Obaze concluded.