Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged skit comedians to use their huge followings on social media and the internet to promote issues for the social good and impact.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday, in Abuja, said the vice president stated this when he received on a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a team of young skit practitioners.
The delegation, which came under the aegis of the Nigeria Skits Industry Awards (NSIA), was led by its promoter, Bimbo Daramola.
Others on the delegation were Maryam Apaokagi, popularly known as Taooma, Josh Alfred (Josh2funny), Ayo Ajewole (Woli Agba), Adebamiro Adeyanju (Mr Hyenana) and Adeoye Adeyemi Elesho (Yemi Elesho).
Everyone with a large following also has a responsibility to draw attention to social issues, Osinbajo said, adding that the Federal Government would continue to create an enabling environment for the growth and development of youths in the country.
Osinbajo said that the creativity and talents of Nigeria’s youth were enough reason to believe in the future of the country and build a new Nigeria that every Nigerian would be proud of.
“I strongly believe that what our young people are doing and what they are capable of is what will lead our country to where we are meant to be.
“The future is not tomorrow; it is already here and we can see it from just everything you are doing, the global acclaim that you are getting; young people like yourselves, doing something good.
“I think that we have incredible talent and we must do something about it, to enable these talents and we must ask ourselves questions on setting realistic goals that can enable these talents flourish.
“ I must say that just based on the sheer creativity around this, I don’t think that anybody anywhere is as funny as Nigerian comedians”, he added.
On the support of government for the creative industry, the vice president highlighted the work of the Technology and Creative Advisory group in shaping policies to encourage the growth of the sector, saying that engagement with skit comedians was important.
“Let us sit down and look at all the issues and come out with realistic positions that can then become policies, and what sort of support will be required’’,Osinbajo told his visitors.
Osinbajo also addressed a couple of issues that were raised by the youths, including the Twitter ban, the harassment of youths by the police and law enforcement officers and the need to improve the country’s public education system.
On the issue of public education, Osinbajo said the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council (NEC), was working in collaboration with state governments to improve public education, including primary and secondary schools which fall under state governments.
The vice president said that the Federal Government was already making efforts to resolve the Twitter ban and ensuring that young Nigerians and all Nigerians were protected and their rights respected by law enforcement officers.
He said that through the mandate of the National Economic Council (NEC), which he chairs, state judicial panels were established nationwide to address issues of police brutality and extrajudicial killings, while also providing compensation to victims.
In his remarks, Daramola thanked the vice president for receiving the delegation, saying that Osinbajo identified with young people describing him as a man of the youths.
“Your Excellency, this visit shows that you have a heart for young people, and you have changed the dynamics to show that government listens to the youths,” he said.
On his part, Elesho, also described Osinbajo as a man of the youths.
“I heard your speech on Monday asking the youths to move on; this is our movement,” he said.
More so, Agba, alongside others on the delegation, commended the vice president for his support for the development of young Nigerians and further commended his youth-centric connection.
Osinbajo was later presented with an NSIA insignia.(NAN)