President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday in Abuja, urged Nigerian youths to join politics and salvage their country because “the future we envisage as a country cannot happen without our youths.”
He appealed to youths who are members of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to participate massively in the party’s ongoing membership re-validation exercise across the country so that they can be in a position to determine how the country is governed.
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the President on media and publicity, the President said this in a virtual meeting with APC youths held at the State House, Abuja. He noted that the ongoing registration and revalidation exercise across the country would further “ensure a shared vision for the party, grassroots ownership and participation, and inclusiveness for youths.”
On his party, APC, the President said its future lies in internal party democracy, transparent electoral processes, pro-people policies and programmes, and value of each member’s contribution to the party’s growth.
‘‘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, “Buhari said.
He assured the youths of more party and government youth-friendly policies that will accommodate their interests. He disclosed that a youth committee was on the way that would be devoted solely to the interest of youths.
‘‘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.
‘‘While I will be looking forward to a more robust engagement with young people across the country, I wish to emphasize to you all that 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 youths.
‘‘In the days ahead, I will be engaging with the Minister for Youth, national youth leader of the party, and others to fine-tune continuous and deliberate strategy on how to better drive a more robust youth inclusion and participation in different sectors.’’
He acknowledged the efforts of various people in the growth of APC : ‘‘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.
‘‘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. ’’
Buhari urged the youths to observe the processes of how leaders emerge in the party, and grow more interest in taking up leadership roles.
‘‘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“.
In his remarks, Ismaeel Buba Ahmed, National Youth Representative, APC Caretaker Committee, and senior special assistant on National Social Investment Programme, NSIP to the President appreciated Buhari’s commitment to issues that affect young people in the country, which include the N-Power project, N75 billion Youth Fund, and various interventions that stimulate entrepreneurship, especially to cushion the effects of COVID-19.
Ahmed appealed to the President to ensure more youth inclusion in all committees of the federal government since young people constitute more than 60 per cent of the population, and also the creation of a Youth Commission.
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