Former Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (retd), and his counterpart in the Air Force, Abubakar Sadique, have urged Nigerian youths to mobilize the electorate and ensure a landslide victory for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in next year’s general election.
The former military chiefs spoke on Monday in Abuja at the concluding session of a two-day All Progressives Youth Summit held in Abuja, noted that the youths have a great role to play in the 2023 elections, urging them to appreciate the challenges the country faces and the need to proffer solutions to them.
Buratai further charged the youths to follow the footsteps of the country’s founding fathers who mounted the saddle of leadership in their youth and be committed and loyal to the course of the nation.
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“The role of youths globally is to see that their country progresses and they also protect their country in various fields. It will be recalled that our great founding fathers of blessed memory, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and the great Awolowo were in their prime as youths when they took the mantle of leadership of this country and I believe you too can do that. First and foremost you must pay attention and you must also respect your leaders, you must cultivate the attitude of followership.
“As youths, you must follow your leaders. You must follow and respect and be loyal to the present leadership and it is through that you will learn and be able to, at the right time, climb the mantle of leadership of this great country. You must also make sure that you get the necessary background in terms of the needs and aspirations of your country in this regard; you must also learn and know our history. It is through that, that you will appreciate the challenges that this country faces and then you will surely find solutions,” Buratai averred.
On his part, former Chief of Air Staff, Abubakar Sadique noted that youths constitute about 70% of Nigeria’s population and therefore cannot sit behind and allow others to determine what is going to happen.
“I find this initiative very exciting and I want to encourage the APC National Youth Leader to organize similar fora or summits so that Nigerian youths can have the opportunity to participate and understand the challenges that are facing us and also play a very crucial role in resolving those challenges.
“Therefore, any nation that desires to move forward, must really put in place a framework that will tap the energy, the creativity, the innovation of this important segment of our society. It is important that we continue to remain focused on what needs to be done to move our society forward and I am very excited that APC as a party has taken this challenge of ensuring that the youths are mobilized and given a very crucial role to play in ensuring that the nation moves forward”, Sadique stated.
Speaking at the event, National Youth Leader of APC, Mr Dayo Israel, revealed that the youth wing of the party has begun to engage young people to become political stakeholders in their own community, mobilizing, doing door-to-door campaign grassroots advocacy to ensure that the party can deliver Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the next president of the country.
He said; “If you are talking about the political party with the highest number of youth, you are talking about the APC. You have one person in a room, using five other accounts to tweet on social media, and you create an impression that there are a lot of numbers, they use different names or even use Yoruba names.
“Do you know how many people have been impacted through our tradermoni programme, our grants to young entrepreneurs, our social investments programme affected many families in various communities?
“Many young people are part of the APC and we are proud to have them here. This hall is filled up. We have more young people outside here and if you go into our rallies in the state, from Oyo to Bauchi, and everywhere you see thousands of young people in the APC.
“Don’t listen to all the propaganda that young people are not with our party. Young people are with our party.”