Obasanjo Warns Against Youth Explosion

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BY Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday raised concern over youth explosion in the country, saying “my greatest worry for Africa and Nigeria is the anger and frustration of the youths that will lead to explosion.”

He said if the youths in the country are not properly managed, it would lead to explosion.

Obasanjo who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during a Youth Governance Dialogue programme, said during his time, there were opportunities but limited facilities unlike today where there are facilities but limited opportunities.

He said: “It will know no bound. If you talk about Boko Haram, it’s limited to North-east, MASSOB is limited to the east, militants to the Niger Delta and OPC is around the corner here.”

However, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, while presenting his opening speech with the topic, ‘Preparing Successor Generation for Effective Participation in Governance’, said anyone who does not see the intrinsic value of the youth has simply never enjoyed the opportunity of working with the youth.

He said: “We cannot keep calling them the leaders of tomorrow without ensuring that we put in place deliberate measures that will aid their quest for public service.”

He therefore, said one cannot under-estimate the place of experience in the leadership of a country, adding  that “sometimes candour and youthful excitement can cause as much harm as the most venal form of corruption.”

Meanwhile, the lead speaker, former Minister of Aviation and FRSC Corps Marshall, Mr. Osita Chidoka, while speaking on the theme ‘Towards a Guiding Political Philosophy for a Democratic Nigeria’ said many argued that the trouble with Nigeria was leadership.

He said for the country to grow, Nigerians must build a society that harnesses human resources, provides equal opportunities and develops capacity for innovation.

He said: “Our national aspirations should inspire the next generation and provide them with the existential meaning of nigeria. A meaning that transcends geography, natural resources and ethnicity.”

He proposed a new charter for the country, saying the charter should contain reasons for the country’s union, the purpose of union and the guarantee of the basic rights, privileges and obligations of citizens.

“Our political parties can then build their ideologies around the strategies for the achieving our national goals,” he added.