Obasanjo, Tambuwal, others lament youth frustration, anger, unemployment
Decry absence of guiding philosophy for Nigeria
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that his greatest fear for Nigeria and the African continent was “youth explosion as result of anger, frustration, unemployment and lack of opportunities.”
Obasanjo expressed the fear that if majority of the youths in Africa are not gainfully engaged as soon as possible, they would “explode and that might consume the entire African continent.”
He, however, stressed that if every child in the country is given even only nine years of primary education, the country would be transformed for good. The former president said: “One of the major problems Nigerian youths are facing today is that they do not have opportunities but they have facilities. In my own time, we had opportunities but no facilities.”
In the same vein, Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, emphasised that one of the most critical debts that each generation owes its successor is to ensure the training of highly experienced young people to take over affairs when the need arises.
They spoke at a “youth governance dialogue”, a programme organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), for secondary and university students held at the OOPL Conference Hall.
Also, former Aviation Minister, Chief Osita Chidoka, who was the lead speaker, said: “Our national aspirations should inspire the next generation and provide them with the existential meaning of Nigeria.”
He, however, decried the absence of a guiding philosophy for Nigeria. In her opening remark, Chairperson of the Centre, Mrs. Bisi Kolapo, said: “The Youth Development Centre was established two months ago to deal with issues of youth development, empowerment and employment and that is the main purpose of organising this programme.
“Over 65 per cent of Nigerians are youths under age 35 years and 60 per cent of these youths are unemployed and we believe that this is an issue that needs immediate attention by all. We believe that at the end of the day, we will come up with a detailed analysis of situation at hand and to see all what sectors and groups can do to these issues.”