As talks of 2023 politics gear up, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told Nigerian youths to get ready to take up the mantle of leadership, as he and his political class will be forced to relinquish power to the younger generation.
Speaking in Aso Rock Villa when received All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leaders from the six geo-political zones, Buhari urged them to ignore arguments with religious and ethnic colouration against their taking charge of the country.
He therefore advised the younger generation to keep a broader view of the country as one entity, and continuously de-emphasise ethnic and religious backgrounds in nation building.
The president stressed that the youth should be prepared for huge responsibilities, because all certainty, someday they will have to take up the mantle of leadership in the country.
He 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”.
President Buhari went down memory lane to explain that 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 North East, 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 stated.
On his second tenure, the President assured that he would be more firm, focused and relentless in delivering results, especially in securing the country, stimulating the economy to work for all, and fighting corruption.
“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,’’ President Buhari said.
In his remarks, National Youth Leader of the APC, Comrade Sadiq Shuaibu Abubakar, congratulated the President for winning the Presidential elections in 2019, assuring him that the youths will continue to support his policies and vision of greatness for the country.
Abubakar urged the President to get more youths involved in governance so as to learn from his “treasured wisdom’’.