Gbenga Adeboye, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said the country is merely risking anger of its teeming youths, saying such anger arising from the frustration the youths have suffered could lead to serious conflagration in the country if not properly managed.
He stated this in his remarks at a youth programme held at Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo maintained that during his own time there were opportunities but limited facilities unlike today’s case where there are facilities but limited opportunities.
Using the example of universities, the former President said after he left secondary school, there was only one university but said he had five appointment offers from different companies lamenting that university graduates of today don’t have the opportunity.
Obasanjo said his greatest fears were youth anger and frustration which he said knew no bound.
He however said all hopes was not lost for the youth saying once they believed in themselves, sky is the limit.
He said, “my greatest worry for Africa and Nigeria are the anger and frustration of the youth that will lead to explosion. It will know no bound. If you talk about Boko Haram, it’s limited to North East, MASSOB is limited to the east militants to the Niger delta and OPC is around the corner here”
He however maintained that his greatest hope is in the youth advising the youth to believe in themselves.
Obasanjo further stated that though the youth are the future, they cannot afford to disregard the experience of the elders.
“Don’t wish us dead or disappear because you need us. You need mentoring, assistance of those before you. You should not lose hope. Japan has no oil but good education. Be ready to pay the price for something you believe in. Be consistent.”
The lead speaker, former Minister of Aviation and FRSC Corps Marshall, Chief Osita Chidoka speaking on the theme ‘Towards a Guiding Political Philosophy for a Democratic Nigeria’ said the trouble with Nigeria was leadership.
He advocated harnessing human resources, provide equal opportunities and develop capacity for innovation.
He said “our national aspirations should inspire the next generation and provide them with the existential meaning of Nigeria, a meaning that transcends geography, natural resources and ethnicity.”
He proposed a new Charter for the country, saying the Charter should contain reasons for the country’s union, the purpose of union and the guarantee of the basic rights, privileges and obligations of citizens.
“Our political parties can then build their ideologies around the strategies for the achieving our national goals”, he added.