A former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan reiterates the industriousness of Nigerian youth, contrary to a statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari who alleged that Nigerian youths were waiting for government allowance, hence refused to work.
In a statement by Jonathan on Tuesday, Nigerian Democracy day, Jonathan stressed that the young Nigerians need the leaders’ encouragement and not tear them down.
The former President says what the youth need are opportunities to showcase their positive talents, leaders who believe in them and show affirmation for them through their words and actions.
“Democracy is a game of numbers and the youths have the numbers. More than 50% of our population are youths. If we develop policies, programs and projects to empower the youth of Nigeria, the Nigerian youth, who single-handedly created Nollywood, the third largest movie industry in the world, can be expected to return the favour and make Nigeria proud.
“And they are already making us proud both locally and internationally.
“Nigerian youths are showcasing their brilliance around the world and I want to make special mention of Ukoma Michael, who at thirteen years of age invented a battery operated fan that lasts for 19 hours on a full charge. This ingenuity domiciled in Michael should be encouraged by our leadership.
“Internationally, Princess Elizabeth Bright and Ramota Tele Lawal, two 22 year old Nigerian youths who in May of 2018 became the youngest elected councillors in the United Kingdom, have made us proud. Very proud indeed.
“These youths are the epitome of the hardworking, talented, innovative and ambitious Nigerian youth who make our nation respected in the community of nations and give us hope for tomorrow and national pride for today.
“Rather than discourage them with our words and actions, we as leaders must give our youths hope by using our language to draw out the very best in them. We must accept that nations only grow when elders plant trees whose shade they know they may never personally enjoy. Leaders must think of the next generation and not just the next election.
“While we celebrate Ukoma, Elizabeth and Ramota, I know that there are perhaps millions in Nigeria who are equally brilliant and only need the right enabling environment to unleash their creative genius. They are my inspiration on this Democracy Day. They are the reason why I believe in the continued corporate existence of this great nation founded on justice, equity and freedom.”