President Muhammadu Buhari says someday, the baton of leadership of the country will be handed over to Nigerian youth.
Speaking when he hosted youth leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the six geo-political zones, Buhari said the change will take place whether the older generation of leaders like it or not.
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, quoted Buhari as asking the youth to prepare for when they will be saddled with the responsibility of presiding over the affairs of Africa’s giant and most populous black nation.
He also advised the younger generation to keep a broader view of the country as one entity, and “continuously de-emphasize ethnic and religious backgrounds in nation-building”.
“With all certainty, someday you will have to take up the mantle of leadership in this country, and you should be prepared for huge responsibilities,” Buhari said.
“Whether we like it or not, we will someday handover to Nigerian youths. And you have to brace up for leadership. Some interest groups will come up with ethnic, religious issues, but you have to look at the broader picture.
“We had a civil war that consumed over 2 million Nigerians, and we learnt our lessons. Nigeria is one country, and no one should take our firmness for granted.”
The president said he took interest in politics after “a clean bill on his integrity” by those who detained him after the 1985 military coup and who “thoroughly checked his record” as governor of the northeast, and as minister of petroleum and head of state and “found nothing incriminating”.
“After I was released and nothing was found on me I took interest in politics. This is what pushed me into partisan politics; to serve with integrity. So I decided to try leadership as a civilian, after taking off the military uniform,’’ he said.
“I am currently serving my last term in office. I swore by the constitution to defend the country, and I will do the needful for the country.”
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