Governance: Why Nigerian leaders must prioritize youth involvement

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

Mr Peter Obi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential Candidate in the last general election


Nigerian leaders have been urged to be more faithful to the youths who constitute the largest figure of the nation’s population

The Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi said the present crop of politicians in Nigeria, including himself, had make the country unbearable for everybody and not conducive for survival for the new graduands through their failure to provide good leadership.

Obi made the remarks at the 8th Convocation of Veritas University, Abuja.

He revealed that in the last four years, the sum of N4.4 trillion had been spent in the education sector, saying with the fund, Nigeria still have the highest number of out of school children.

Addressing the graduands Obi said, Though Nigeria is tough, your education has equipped you for survival and competition with others. It is those that fail to explore their knowledge through creativity and innovation that would find things irredeemable and challenges unconquerable.”

He told the graduands to know that their education would not guarantee them inheritances from their parents but could guarantee them jobs.

The former Governor added that their education would guarantee the ability to think outside the box at all times by employing their knowledge to conquer themselves, their environment and the world.

Speaking on the task before the graduands, Obi said: “the tasks before you are enormous. Nigeria has been bastardized by my generation, all of us, you owe it to yourselves to restore the glory of the country. Today, our country is owing heavily, the states are owing, most of the debts are to be re-paid in 10,20,30 and 40 years time.

“At that time, some of those that plunged the country into the mess would have died and the task of rebuilding will rest squarely on you. I am telling you this for you to realize that the task of re-directing the destiny of this country lies with you and must be pursued with all sense of responsibility.”

He encouraged the graduands not to tow the line of their parents, but to build a new country while emphasising that the biggest money countries can boast of is in their population and the knowledge acquired.

“We have 13.5 million out of school children which is the highest in the world. On education alone Nigeria has spent N4.4 trillion in four years”

“We did not give them back the schools. We wrongfully took away people’s assets. Government cannot manage schools. In Anambra after the exercise, we moved from number 24 to number one. So only returned what was wrongfully taken as education cannot thrive without the church.

This country has the highest number of people living in poverty. India and China have population in billions and yet the number of people living in poverty in Nigeria when compared to the population of both countries surpasses those of the two countries put together,” he said.