Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Ex-President Jonathan speaks on mistakes of past leaders, cautions Nigerian youths

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said he does not envision a situation where youths below 35 years would dominate political space in Nigeria.

He spoke while receiving the New Nigeria 2019, NN-2019 group and the Young Professionals of Nigeria, YPN, led by Chima Nwafor and Moses Siasia, in Yenogoa, the Bayelsa State capital.




He lamented that youths were being used for social vices like “cultism, kidnapping, hired killers.”

Jonathan, however, encouraged youths to play key roles in governance.

The former president, “I am not envisioning a government that every actor will be below thirty-five years old, but I share the aspiration of those who want young people to be fully involved in governance.

“I remember when Alfred Diette Spiff was the military governor of the then old Rivers State, most of the members of his cabinet were older than him and even referred to him as ‘my son,’ but together they achieved much in infrastructure and human development.”

“Before I leave, let me charge the young people in two areas: the young must reform the old for us to grow positively. At the same time most of the challenges we are having in the society; it is not that the young people created them, but they are being used negatively. We talk about cultism, hired killers, terror, kidnapping, the elderly cannot enter the bush to go and stay for days.

“A group like yours constituting of CEOs, how do you create platforms to re-orientate the thinking of our young people?. I am glad that you mentioned setting up similar bodies, across the country.

“At least, even if you start from the universities and secondary schools, to change the mindset of the youths. Youth movements like Boys Scout, Boys Brigade and Girls Guide, developed from this kind of thinking.

“The growth of society should not be marked by flashy cars, sky scrapers and beautiful roads but by the people, the way they think and the way they do things.”

Jonathan also cautioned Nigerian youths against mistakes made by past leaders.

He said, “I am happy that you cut across parts of the country, you are not here because you are Christians or Muslims, you are not here because you are from South-South, or from North-East, or North West or South West

“But you are here because you are Nigerian youths that are committed to a particular cause and you want to make an impact for a better society for us and the future.”

The former President also noted that he believed in the philosophy of late Maitama Sule “that the young breed without old breed will breed greed.

“I think what he is saying is that both old and young people must come together,” Jonathan stated, recalling that there was a time young people played dominant roles in the nation’s politics.

“All the big historical names you hear: Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Sarduana of Sokoto, Michael Okpara, all of them got involved at very young age. Some of them were ministers in their twenties,” he said.




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