Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Mr Peter Obi, has called on Nigerian youths to reflect soberly on Nigeria’s journey as a nation, putting into consideration the past challenges and the future hope of the nation, and begin to generate progressive ideas that would not only save the country from further decline, but move it forward, knowing that they were the hope of redemption for the country.
Obi, who made this call through a message to the youths, to mark the International Youths Day 2020, urged the youths to begin to look inwards for solutions to the myriads of challenges facing the country. Obi reminded them that the salvation of the country depended on them and it would be unfair of them to let the country down by not living up to expectations.
Regretting the years of accumulated leadership failure which had denied the youths access to some basic amenities and deprived them of many opportunities in life, Obi said the government had, in many ways, failed to plan for the youth, the supposed leaders of tomorrow. He, however, urged the youths to ‘cut a path’ for themselves and focus their minds on productive ideas that could change the negative narratives associated with the country.
Obi urged the youth to take their education seriously and vocational education very seriously. He maintained that education remained the currency they needed for future competition in a global world. He also said that vocational education and skill acquisition would empower the youths to be less dependent on the government while creating more opportunities for themselves and contributing to the country.
“Today provides us another opportunity, as Nigerian youths, to look inwards and ponder on ways we can contribute to build a better society for ourselves and our generations unborn. Continued dependence on government to make plans for the youths might result in unrealized dreams. This is therefore a wake-up call to the youths to understand that they are the hope of our nation, thus they should contribute more progressively to build the Nigeria of our dreams. I encourage them to also maximise every educational opportunity at their disposal and improve themselves to be able to compete with their global counterparts,” Obi wrote in the message.
Obi also called on the youth to get involved in politics at different levels of political leadership, noting that the youths could form a formidable political force capable of moving the nation forward. He insisted that political thuggery, electoral violence and unnecessary praise-singing were not the way to political participation. He advised the youth to avoid such behaviours.
“The political space of our nation needs more youth participation and I encourage the youths to get involved in politics with the mindset of serving and contributing to the growth of the country. The youths must eschew all forms of political rascality, thuggery and electoral violence which has continued to stagnate us as a nation,” Obi concluded.
The International Youth Day 2020, was themed “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.