Wrest power from old politicians, Obasanjo tells youths
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has advised Nigerian youths to brace up and democratically wrest leadership position from the old guards and occupy it since old generation politicians seemed unwilling to quit the stage.
Obasanjo declared that leadership positions were never given on platter of gold and urged the youth to work for it.
The ex – President who spoke on Saturday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at the Youth Governance Dialogue organised to mark this year International Youth Day, added that those seeking to occupy leadership positions in the country must also carve a niche for themselves through hard work.
The programme was organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library(OOPL), Abeokuta.
He lamented that moral values had been eroded in the society today compared to what obtained in the 50s and the 60s, saying sound moral values were the necessary ingredients required for leadership position.
He also noted that the nation was in a dire need of leaders who were academically and spiritually sound.
He appealed to the youths to stop complaining, moaning and agonizing, urging them to get ready to fit into elective offices as there were moves now to lower the age into positions of the President, Governor and National Assembly.
“I joined politics from the top. The only position I contested for in Nigeria is the Presidency, but I had track record of achievements which led to that.
“Nobody will choose you, you have to choose yourself. Why should you have to become president at the age of 40? Why can’t you become president at the age of 35? Why can’t you become president at the age of 30?
“General Gowon became Head of State at 33. I became Head of State at 39. And it is because of my track record, and thanks to Abacha(late Gen. Sani Abacha) for putting me in jail.
“Those were the reasons why I have opportunity to come back as elected President of Nigeria.
The point is this -how are you prepared? Are you really prepared?
“You should engage in things that will bring about unity and integration. You see yourselves as Nigerians and one family instead of pursuing things that could divide the country,” Obasanjo said.
Also, former Attoney-General of the federation, Kanu Agabi, SAN, in his paper presentation titled “The role of our youth in contributing to the Peace and stability of the nation,” asked Nigerian youths to strive towards unity and peace of Nigeria.
Agabi described Obasanjo as an embodiment of perseverance and urged the youth to emulate him.
“If Obasanjo can make it, you can also make it. He joined the army and survived. When he was sent to prison, he survived. He was sentenced to death but here he is,” Agabi said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) advised Nigerian youths to shun violence and “remain committed to Nigeria’s development.”
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