Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday in a conference, also attended by Aminu Tambuwwal of Sokoto state ane the Minister of Aviation (Osita Chidoka), pleaded with the nation’s youth not to wish the elders in the country “dead”, saying they will surely need them as “mentors” and “advisers” in their sojourn.
He stated categorically that his greatest fear about the Nigeria of today is about the “anger and frustration of the youths”. He likened the situation to a time bomb illustrating that if the situation is not well managed, it could lead to a “youth explosion.”
Nigerian youths are not getting help from anywhere lately and
so if one is pushed against the wall, reaction is inevitable. According to him, the situation is in contrast. Youths of his generation had “limitless opportunities but no facilities’ to cater while today we have facilities but no sure opportunities.
This speech was actually during The Youth Governance Dialogue organized by the Youth Development Centre arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library(OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
As reference to this timed explosion, he cited the insurgency in the North East, the separatist agitators in the South East and militancy in the Niger Delta region as manifestations of anger and frustrations from disillusioned youths, warning that should youth explosion erupts, there may be no limit to the extent it can spread.
He further appealed to them to work hard to help themselves and be ready to pay the price for the right cause they believe, saying in spite of all odds, the youth still remained his greatest hope for Nigeria.
Obasanjo noted that when he left secondary school, he received letters of appointments from five establishments and wondered whether any Nigerian university graduate could have such opportunities today.
“Don’t wish us dead, don’t wish us to disappear because you will need us. You need us mentors and advisers to mentor and prepare you for the future. You need our experience and assistance of some of us to guide you through life.
“You should not lose hope, you should not feel frustrated. Whenever I go, they always ask me what is my fear about Nigeria and Africa. And I said my greatest fear is youth anger, frustrations and youth explosion which have no bound.
“We have the Boko haram in the north, the MASSOB and IPOB in the South East, the militants in the Niger Delta and the Oodua Peoples Congress in the Southwest. All of these are expression of anger and frustrations.
“We have what it takes to be great as a nation and we can’t transform this country without the youths. My greatest hope in this country is also the youth. You the youth should work to help yourselves. You must be ready to pay the price for what you stand for,” Obasanjo said.
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal also attended the conference.