By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has appealed to Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality across the country to stop demonstration and embrace dialogue for the resolution of their agitations.
He said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will speak to the youth frankly and in good faith.
He urged the youths not to swallow the ugly narratives peddled with malicious intensity by organisations that politically oppose the President, saying they are seeking to paint him as uncaring and hateful towards them.
“The government and the youth must embrace dialogue. This President and his administration will speak to you frankly and in good faith. There will be honest dialogue but no false promises on one hand or unfair suppression on the other. The youth must be sufficiently fair minded to assess the facts and the situation. Do not swallow the ugly narratives peddled with malicious intensity by organizations that politically oppose the President”.
“They seek to paint him as uncaring and hateful towards you. This is an unfair lie. The President cares deeply. He profits nothing when an innocent youth or Nigerian is hurt, harassed or killed by those hired to protect them”.
“He is personally insulted when the police act against safety and proper order. He is engaged in a dogged battle against vested interests that have literally hijacked the soul of the country over decades and are intent on avoiding accountability. This means, he is more than willing to dialogue with you”, Dare stated in his five-page conversation to Nigerian youths, yesterday.
He insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has always maintained by his actions that the youth are ultimately the greatest assets to the nation.
“We must now be concerned that even protests can be subjected to the hurricane winds of manipulation, to the extent that many would claim nothing is being done for the Nigerian youth. As the minister responsible for this portfolio, I can say categorically that this is simply not true. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, a specific ring-fenced investment fund, the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) was approved by the government.
The president’s belief is that we must make substantial and meaningful financial investment in our youth if we truly want them to become creators of wealth, employers of labor and architects of a better Nigeria”.
“When Youth Corpers lamented the inadequacy of their allowances, many raised the competing needs for resources as a reason why increments would not be possible. This President ensured increment from N19, 800 to N33, 000 naira monthly, even above the minimum wage”.
“This pool is the single largest concentration of youth in the country annually. The Social Investment Programme (SIP) of this government has won international acclaim. An enabling environment for youth-run Fintech companies to thrive has been created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with a special license category. The Buhari administration continues to make massive investments in every facet of Nigeria’s life, so the country can have the infrastructure it needs for rapid economic development,” he added.