Bauchi, Nigeria. The Northeast Youth Council of Nigeria (NEYCON) has conferred an award of Icon of Peace and Nation Building on the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bauchi for his role in the development of the youth across the country.
Receiving the award at the Chambers of the Secretariat in St. John’s Cathedral Bauchi, Bishop Hilary Nanman Dachelem, CMF appreciated the NEYCON for the award and called on them to be agents of peace.
“I truly appreciate this gesture from you. At heart, I am a young man and I support you 100% as long as you stand for justice, peace, patriotism and love of people irrespective of creed, region, tribe or religious affiliation as well as the love of God. I love young people so much. Just imagine a country without youths! The youths are the guarantors of the nation. Therefore, stand up and demand for your rights. Not in a violent manner but in a non-violent form as Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Ghandi did in the US and India respectively” he stated.
He apologized to the youth for being side-lined in the scheme of things in the country.
“On behalf of the Government, Elders and Stakeholders in Nigeria, I want to tender my unreserved apology to you the youth, not only of the North East but of Nigeria at large. We have not given you the enabling environment to thrive and actualize your potentials and dreams.”
He called on them to think outside the box and not wait for white collar jobs but to be self-reliant.
He urged them to study youth policies for better governance saying “If you read the content of the Youth Policies in Nigeria, you will be amazed at the wonderful ideas they contain. And if they are implemented, one year is enough to transform Nigeria into the land of our dream.” He noted that for the youth and the nation to overcome the challenges bedeviling the country, they have to eschew the triple evils of racism, tribalism and religious extremism.
“The New Nigeria of our dream should transcend beyond these Nation Killers – Racism, tribalism and religious fundamentalism. Race, tribe and religion are not evil in themselves. They only become bad when we misuse them for our selfish aims or pander to our egotistical passions.”
He urged them to embrace love as hatred has not provided any positive results since the birth of Nigeria 57 years ago “Since hatred has not changed our nation for the better for these 57 or 58 years of our existence as an independent nation, why can’t we try love and see for another 57 or 58 years”? he queried.
Earlier in his remarks, the President, Comrade Aaron Aliyu said the conferment of the award was conceived to honour Bishop Hilary considering his vast contributions in impacting positively on the life of the youth and being a role model to them, adding that the choice for Bishop Hilary is because of his work with the youth irrespective of tribe and religion.
“Bishop Hilary Dachelem CMF is not just a mentor and a role model but a personality full of integrity, transparency and fear of God which will for a long time define the phrase, a light at the end of the tunnel.”
He said the NEYCON is the apex umbrella body of youth cutting across six states of the Northeast states with a shared vision of youth orientation for good governance and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria. He described the Bishop as a father, friend, an icon, a colossus, a pillar and a natural representative of the Christian faith. He further commended Bishop Dachelem for exhibiting youth friendly disposition and humane care for whoever comes his way, adding that he displayed an unmatched nationalistic Christian leadership style that has given the youth a renewed hope as leaders of tomorrow, at a time when Nigerian youth are facing near relegation from national scheme of affairs.