By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Friday told the Nigerian youths in Abuja to warm up for huge leadership responsibilities, saying with all certainty, someday, the mantle of leadership of this country will rest on their shoulders.
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president made the remarks when he received the All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leaders from the six geo-political zones of the country.
According to Adesina, the president advised the younger generation to keep a broader view of the country as one entity, and continuously de-emphasise ethnic and religious backgrounds in nation building.
The statement said the president made reference to the civil war which he said claimed over two million lives, arguing that Nigeria remains firm and must not be taken for granted.
“Whether we like it or not, we will someday hand over to Nigerian youths. And you have to brace up for leadership. Some interest groups will come up with ethnic, religious issues, but you have to look at the broader picture.
“We had a civil war that consumed over 2 million Nigerians, and we learnt our lessons. Nigeria is one country, and no one should take our firmness for granted,’’ he was quoted as saying.
Adesina also said the president further told the youngsters that he took interest in politics because he was not found guilty of any crime after his detention in the aftermath of the 1985 military coup which ousted him as the Head of State.
He also claimed that his records were thoroughly checked as the governor of the North East State and the Minister of Petroleum and nothing incriminating was found in him.
“After I was released and nothing was found on me I took interest in politics. This is what pushed me into partisan politics; to serve with integrity. So I decided to try leadership as a civilian, after taking off the military uniform,’’ he was further quoted.
Adesina said Buhari also spoke on his current second term in office, assuring them that he would be more firm, focused and relentless in the delivery of results, especially in the area of security, stimulation of the economy and the fight against corruption.
“I am currently serving my last term in office. I swore by the constitution to defend the country, and I will do the needful for the country,’’ Adesina further quoted Buhari.
According to him, the national youth leader of the APC, Sadiq Shuaibu Abubakar, in his remarks, congratulated Buhari on his victory at the February 23, 2019 presidential election, pledging that the youths would continue to support his policies and vision for the country.
The statement added that Abubakar urged the president to get more youths involved in governance to enable them learn from his “treasured wisdom”.