This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Youth Day - Catholic Church Focuses On Values

Abuja — Ahead the World Youth Day celebration, the Catholic Church has unveiled plans to host a Youth programme this week at the National Christ Centre in Abuja; as part of the second National Youth Day (NYD) Celebration.

According to a press statement made available to THISDAY, Pope Benedict XVI, has permitted the 2011 World Youth Day to be held in Madrid, the capital of Spain. As a result, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have scheduled the NYD to take place in Abuja; to allow the Nigerian youths who may not have the opportunity to participate in Madrid to have a feel of the programme.

The Secretary General of the Youth Section, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr., Peter Okonkwo, said that the 2010 National Youth Day celebration is set to target the formation of youths with value driven orientation.

Speaking in a press conference at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja, Rev. Okonkwo said that the NYD celebration is an event that takes place in the week long catholic celebration of youths from around the world, prior to the World Youth Day celebration.

He however called on all Nigerian youths, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to attend an event that will feature series of event aimed at addressing the issues affecting the youths squarely, that will teach them (youths) civil manners and behaviours, which will help them desist from violent behaviours.

He added that the programme though organised by Catholics is open to all youths not minding the religion. "We have no limitations in our invitation" he said.

Many guest speakers are to speaking on various topics like the Information Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who is to speak on 'Reorientation, towards integral rebranding'; Senate President, Senator David Mark, on 'Role of legislators on youth empowerment'; and Rev. Valerian Okeke on 'Significance of the Cross'.

He noted that the programme is expected to imbue in youths at the end the spirit to shun violence and all kinds of activities capable of causing damage to the society. "It is to challenge the youth to live a value oriented life, to challenge them to embrace integral development, integrity and nobility, and to influence the young people positively by the hierarchies of the church" he said.

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