President Muhammadu Buhari has assured members of the youth wing of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in particular and Nigerian youths in general of his continued support through the creation of greater opportunities to make them attain their potentials.
Speaking at the State House, Abuja on Thursday, 4 February, 2021 during a virtual meeting attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, the President said, “I am delighted to be part of this meeting today, not only on your commitment to strengthen our party and its progressive ideologies, but more importantly, your role in the social sphere, body polity, politics and governance of our dear country. Having started my participation in the governance of this country at a young age myself, I know the energy, versatility and vibrancy that youth can bring into public service.
“This is why I take every issue related to young people very seriously and try as much as possible to engage them by having constant conversations to gain from their youthful and inspiring insights into issues of today. I have followed with keen interest the efforts of many of you in your bid to grow our party, the APC, into a strong and long lasting platform that would sustain progressive governance in Nigeria. Taking issues concerning our party seriously is commendable and shows your forward thinking”.
On the challenges faced by the Youth, he said efforts were being made to tackle them headlong.
“I am also aware of the daily toils and sacrifices many of our online warriors make on social media to defend and promote the party and government. I appreciate you deeply and I am committed to making sure everyone appreciates your work as well.
“As young people, I am sure you know your future is closely tied to the progress that leaders who emerge through the political parties are able to deliver. This is the major reason I vehemently supported and advocated for the APC’s membership registration and revalidation, and that whoever among you seek to participate honestly in uplifting this country through the instrumentalities of party politics is able to do so.I was in Daura to revalidate my membership and I encourage you all to do same. My belief and firm commitment is that politics is a game of numbers, and political power truly belongs to the people.
“Parties are built from the ground up.So I envisage a party that we can have transparent electoral contests, drive policies and programmes that are pro people, and most importantly, have the members determine who represents them not some leaders somewhere”.
On the ongoing party registration, he said, “Tell your colleagues to go back to their constituencies and join in party registration, attend party meetings, pay your dues, make contributions and bring your youthful energy and zeal to bear on the development of the party right from the unit and ward level up to the National. If you want to see something different you have to be willing to do something different.”
On the effect of Covid-19 on the economy, he affirmed, “Let me also acknowledge the suffering and disruptions caused by Covid-19. The pandemic has slowed down economic growth across the world, not just in Nigeria, thus proving that no one country or economy is immune to the shocks of life. In fact, Nigeria is lucky not to have been too badly hit by the pandemic because we took early precautions, coupled with our good fortune of having a predominantly young population, a demographic advantage I believe we need to harness more deliberately.Young people owe this country the responsibility to deploy their energy and creativity in every field — health, science, education, sports, agriculture, etc. — and bring up innovations that would be in tandem with the changing dynamics of the world.”
He concluded by assuring them of more robust engagements, “While I will be looking forward to a more robust engagement with young people across the country, I wish to emphasize to you with all that is in me, you have a major supporter. I will offer you my full support to grow in politics, public service, entertainment, entrepreneurship and many other sectors, because I know that the future we envisage as a country cannot happen without our youth.In the days ahead, I will be engaging with the Minister for Youth; the National Youth Leader of the party and others to fine-tune continuous and deliberate strategies on how to better drive a more robust youth inclusion and participation in different sectors. I have listened to the grievances of the youth and taken some remedial actions last year. But I acknowledge the need to do a lot more.
“Consequently, I will be setting up a small committee made up largely of young people to engage with their peers, air their views and come up with better ways to identify and address challenges and find durable solutions.t is my hope that by combining the wisdom and experience of the older generation with the foresight and energy of the young, we shall collectively drive this country to greater heights”.