Abavo Kingsley, Benin

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Dr Otive Igbuzor and the trainees during the programme.

Ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, a 3 – day capacity building programme has been held for youths in the Niger – Delta region who are desirous of becoming political office holders and leaders.

The programme which held in Benin Edo State capital last week, was at the instance of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy, and Development (Centre LSD).

It was organized around three pillars of leadership, Strategy, and Development to address key challenges of development such as elections, natural resource governance, inclusive and responsive budgeting, environment and sustainable livelihoods by building dynamic and visionary leaders and active citizens.

The programme was thought necessary at this time as it has been observed that political leadership is a huge challenge in Nigeria which is even greater in the future as there is increasing marginalization of the youths in politics, Executive Director of the Centre, Dr. Otive Igbuzor said.

Youths with unique characteristics are great assets to the sustainability of any nation hence they must be equipped to be able to effectively play their role in national social development, he stated.

This is as he outlined some of the processes that can contribute to participatory governance which he noted that are almost absent in the Niger – Delta region.

Igbuzor disclosed that the Centre plans to build the capacity of at least 240 youths in the three States of Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa to prepare them to run for elective office in the 2019 elections and beyond.

80 youths in each of the States are targeted to benefit, he added.

“Those of you who made it to this training are the key target we rely on to achieve the training objective.

“It is our hope that a good number of you, if not all, will contest and win elections to any position of your choice.

“The capacity building exercise will provide you with the requisite knowledge that will stand you out among your peers and put you on a better pedestal toward making a mark in politics.”

The training focused on key issues: Leadership, Political Parties and Elective Offices; Managing the Electoral Process and Election Observation; Introduction to Politics, Democracy and Party Organization; Campaign Planning and Message Development; Election Campaign Framework (Election Law and Political Party Code of Conduct); Campaign Financing, and Public Speaking.