Comrade Murtala Mohammed in this interview with TARKAA DAVID stressed the need for youths to aspire for leadership position.
Can Nigerian youths be trusted with leadership positions?
Of course yes, you know leadership is not based on age, region, tribe or religion. It is something that deals with integrity and personality. That is why we are calling on youths with good record, good parental background who are well-educated and with the capacity of leadership to take advantage of this opportunity. As youths, we aspire for leadership position right from universities to the youth council level. It is not just a matter of youths but it is something that involves character and integrity. So I think we have the good ones among us that can lead the nation right.
You are one of those who pushed for the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill. Is there hope for the youths considering the huge sums of money charged for forms by political parties?
There is hope for the youths to run because for the President to listen to us and call us to the presidency and assent to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill, I am optimistic that this is a major challenge for Nigerian youths and we have to achieve that target. However, for the financial implication to purchase the forms, I think Nigerian youth are ready to take leadership positions, we are capable of doing whatever we want do, we can do it by contributing money to purchase this forms. Like I said last two weeks before I purchased my form, it was Nigerian youths after our meeting in Port Harcourt that contributed money and gave me to go and purchase my form which they have done to many others. With unity, there is nothing Nigerian youths cannot do. That is our stand and that is what the youths must always come out to do to achieve this feat and contest for elective positions and this move will pave way for other youths across the country.
What is your position on women empowerment?
When we talk of youths, it involves women too including young ladies among us and old women too, they will be carried along. The business women will have packages that will encourage the growth of their businesses and improve their earning, like the widows, I intend to organise certain business trainings and provide start up kits for them, and those that are good in agriculture will be encouraged to continue. For social amenities, I am very conversant with my constituency and we are backward in terms of social amenities ranging from potable water, good roads, electricity and health care. A lot of people in our place do not even know that there are other amenities other than roads and hospitals but as a citizen, there many other benefits, all this I will take to my constituency.
We have talents among us, we have the comedians, musicians and others, we will encourage them, I intend to use my network to provide a platform for them to grow their God given talents to be able to feed themselves and impact the society. I will use my connection at the federal and international levels to seek scholarship for the youths who may want to further their studies abroad and within the country. I will also promote sporting activities which unites people irrespective of their religion, tribe or ethnic affiliation because our diversity should be our strength. If my people can give me the mandate, I will use it to their advantage, as a person who is concerned about the peace and unity of this country, I will show them the advantage of our differences so that we can rather make our difference our strength and not our weakness.
Do you think the political parties will give the youths the chance to scale through primaries?
I am very hopeful and optimistic about this because we under the leadership of the Youth Council and the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill met all the major political parties. We are not saying they should just give us something free but they should provide a level playing field for everybody to participate. We demanded that they give everybody the opportunity, I mean the upcoming youths and women and they all agreed with us that they are going to give us that support that we need to take leadership responsibilities.
In this period of money bag politics, are you still confident that the youths with lean pockets will win?
We are so confident about victory. You see what happened in Ekiti and the improvement in the recent election in Osun state. I think the money bags will not work again. If you come with your money, you are just wasting your time because those that will collect the money will still vote for the right candidate that will change our community and our entire life for good. I appreciate President Buhari for standing by the youths and we are assuring him that we the youths are going to give him all the support that he needs and that is why people like us are coming to contest elections so that when we are at the green chamber, we can use that opportunity to bring something good to our society and also to develop our country. That is our stand as a representative of the youths of this great country Nigeria.
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