By Lanre Oloyede
Former Chief of army staff, lieutenant general, Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has urged Nigerian youths to mobilize the electorates enmass ahead of the 2023 general elections and vote in the right candidate in order to secure their future.
The former army Chief, who spoke at Day 2 of the All Progressives Youth Summit held in Abuja, noted that the youths have a great role to play in the 2023 elections, urging them to appreciate the challenges the country faces and the need to profer solutions to them.
Buratai further charged the youths to follow the footsteps of the country’s founding fathers who mounted the saddle of leadership at their prime youthful ages and be committed and loyal to the course of the nation.
“The role of youths globally is to see that their country progress and they also protect their country in various fields. It will be recalled that our great founding fathers of blessed memory, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and the great Awolowo they were in their primes as youths when they took the mantle of leadership of this country and I believe you too can do that. First and foremost you must pay attention and you must also respect your leaders, you must cultivate the attitude of followership.
“As youths, you must follow your leaders. You must follow and respect and be loyal to the present leadership and it is through that you will learn and be able to at the right time climb the mantle of leadership of this great country. You must also make sure that you get the necessary background in terms of the needs and aspirations of your country and this regard, you must also learn and know our history. It is through that you will appreciate the challenges that this country faces and then you will surely find solution,” Buratai averred.
On his part, former Chief of Air Staff, Abubakar Sadique, stressed the need to draw the attention of the youths to the challenges of our time and also making them to realise that they have an important role to play in defining the character of our society today.
Sadique emphasized that youths constitute about 70% of Nigeria’s population and therefore can not sit behind and allow others to determine what is going to happen.
” I find this initiative very exciting and I want to encourage the National Youth Leader to organise similar fora or summits so that Nigerian youths can have the opportunity to participate and understand the challenges that are facing us and also play a very crucial role in resolving those challenges. By our very nature as human beings, we start from position of weakness to position of strength and back to weakness and position of strength is the position of the Nigerian youths.
“Therefore, any nation that desires to move forward, must really put in place a framework that will tap the energy, the creativity, the innovation of this important segment of our society. Therefore, it is important that continue to remain focus on what needs to be done to move our society forward and I am very excited that APC as a party has taken this challenge of ensuring that the youths are mobilised and the youths are given a very crucial role to play in ensuring that the nation move forward. I hope we will have similar summits so that we can mobilise the entire youths so that they can remain focused on what is required for the development of our great country,” Sadique stressed.
Speaking at the event, National Youth leader of APC, Mr Dayo Israel, revealed that the youth wing of the party has began to engage young people to become political stakeholders in their own community, mobilizing, doing door-to-door campaign and also various advocacy in the grassroots as foot soldiers to ensure that the party can deliver Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the next president, Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023.
Mr Israel said, “If you are talking about the political party with the highest number of youth, you are talking about the APC. You have one person in a room, using five other accounts to tweet on social media, and you create an impression that there are a lot of numbers, they use different names or eve use yoruba names. Do you know how many people have been impacted through our trader moni programme, our grants to young entrepreneur, our social investment program affected many families in various communities.
“Many young people are part of the APC and we are proud to have them here. This hall is filled up. We have more young people outside here and if you go into our rallies in the state, from Oyo to Bauchi, and everywhere you see thousands of young people in the APC.
“Don’t listen to all the propaganda that young people are not with our party. Young people are with our party.”