published on Page 6 Peoples Daily Newspaper (11/11/13)
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Five Nigerian youths are among the Fifty-three candidates from 21 countries standing for nine executive posts including Chairperson, Vice Chairpersons, regional and special interests representatives of the Commonwealth Youth Council.
The CYC elections which begins yesterday during the Commonwealth Youth Forum, Hambantota Sri Lanka. National Youth Councils/ Bodies in the 53 Commonwealth countries and Overseas Territories are eligible to vote in these elections.
The Commonwealth Youth Council is an autonomous youth-led body, which aims to further advance the youth development agenda and strengthen young people's participation in the Commonwealth. Its Executive will be responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the Council.
The young person's vying for Chairperson of the Council are: Ahmed Adamu – Nigeria; Kesaobaka Pharatlhatlhe – Botswana; Francesca Temitope Danmole – UK and Ngen Yves Riyuh – Cameroon
Ahmed Adamu from Kastina State is a graduate of Bayero University Kano with a PhD in Economics, from Newcastle University, United Kingdom.
Adamu is the Founder and Pioneer President, Youth Participation for Progressive Development Initiative, member, Katsina State Executive Council Committee on youth restiveness and Unemployment, December, 2011 and Secretary, Constitutional review Committee, Katsina Central Constituency, 2012.
Also another Nigerian Isaiah Owolabi is contesting for Vice Chairperson-Policy and Advocacy alongside : Muhammed Zafrullah – Pakistan, Nooranie Muthaliph - Sri Lanka, Asha Kemoy Desuza - St. Kitts and Nevis, Nomonde Sharon Malanda - South Africa, Tamian Gevani Beckford – Jamaica, Isaiah Owolabi – Nigeria, Vijayanathan Thusandra - Sri Lanka and Sudharshana Lakshmi - India
Isaiah Owolabi a project director and co-founder of HACEY's Health Initiative a nongovernmental organization that works in 24 African countries to support vulnerable children, women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives.
Isaiah is a graduate of Human Physiology and a graduate member of Nigerian Institute of Management. Also he was a finalist for the 2012 Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development Work.
Uyero Erarawewho from Delta State is also in the race for Africa and EU Regional Representative alongside: Foglabenchi Lily Haritu – Cameroon, Florence Koroma - Sierra Leaone, Karl Bugeja – Malta, Arielle Gahigi Muginaneza – Rwanda , Moshobane Claude - South Africa, , Brian Dan Migowe – Kenya, Juliana Timothy Haule – Tanzania, Kiziah Philbert – Kenya and Ibrahim Idrissa Mansaray - Sierra Leone.
Erarawewho, graduated from Delta State University where I studied Accounting and presently undergoing a Postgraduate Degree in Banking and Finance.
He is currently the Secretary, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Delta State, Ndokwa East Chapter and also the Conference Coordinator of the West Africa Youth Conference.
Two Nigerians Ahmed Bachaka and Ekpetun Torke Johnson are slugging it out as Representative for Special Interest Groups alongside :George Argwing's Kasera – Kenya, Amila Wensiri Rajapakshe - Sri Lanka, Samarakoon Wathsala - Sri Lanka.
Abubakar Ahmed Bachaka is currently the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Youth Parliament.
Torke Johnson Ekpetun, from Agbidiama Community, Ekeremor Local
Government Area, Bayelsa State is the Founding National Coordinator of Offshore Oil and Gas Host Communities Youth Development Association
(OGHYYDA) in 2010, Vice Chairman,South-South, Nigerian Youths United Action
Coalition 2012 and Vice Chairman, NYCN Bayelsa West Senatoria District, Bayelsa State Chapter
Over 106 youth representatives from 53 countries will participate in the Forum along with 22 observers and 5 representatives of the Task Force. In addition, 25 youth delegates 20 monitors and task force members from Sri Lanka will also attend.
The CYF, organized with several objectives, will allow youth leaders to exchange ideas and cultures, for youth participants to build skills and network, and to work toward identifying the most vital challenges and opportunities facing the youth today.
Four days will be allocated for the main forum of the CYF while one day will be set aside for sightseeing.
Participants of the CYF will have the opportunity to take part in professional skills development programs, capacity building activities and cross-cultural programs.
At the Forum, the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) will be elected and the newly-elected youth leaders of the CYC and co-chairs of the CYF Youth-Led Task Force will interface with the Heads of Government to share the outcomes of the CYF.
The Youth Forum has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skill Development, National Youth Services Council and the youth affairs division and youth exchange council of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
According to the Director of the youth affairs of the Commonwealth Secretariat Catherin Allis the Youth Forum in Sri Lanka will become a turning point of the development of youth affairs.