By Ayodele Oluwafemi
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has suggested that Nigeria should invest in the potentials of youth in order to set the country on a prosperous path.
Atiku argued that the nation can tap into the potentials of youth through investments in quality education and skills acquisition.
The former Presidential candidate, in his message to commemorate the nation’s 60th Independence anniversary, opined that the country has failed many Nigerian youths, who have the same capacity and spirit like the UFC middleweight holder, Israel Adesanya.
Atiku said, “The youths of Nigeria represent the future wealth of the fatherland and the only way we can tap into them is through quality investments in education and skills acquisition.
“Through the creativity that they inject in their passion, the excellence of the Nigerian youth is a global signature in diverse fields notably in sports, as they can be found in medicine, in education, in business and finance, agriculture, and in our entertainment industry.
“Indeed they ‘berekete’ in every facet of our life from the rain forest of the south to the sudan and sahel Savannah of the north and the guinea Savannah of the midlands of the territories we call home.
“We may have failed to take advantage of the power of the Nigerian youth. But there is something much more significant that their triumphs teach us a people looking forward to a better future. When they win, they celebrate Nigeria. Our youth are ready and eager to conquer the world. What they lack is the leadership to take them through that process.”
The former vice president asked those who have taken up arms as separatist group to divide the country to have a rethink about the unity of Nigeria.
Atiku urged the political class to ensure that every Nigerian irrespective of tribal differences has the sense of belonging.
The former vice president said, “I also call on those who have taken up arms against Nigeria to have a rethink. Whatever differences they may have with the rest of Nigeria, whether religious, ethnic or political: terror, violence and separatism are not the way.
“Let us learn from history. In Ireland, Israel, and the Balkans, such groups have seen the wisdom in giving up armed struggle for participation in the political process.
“There is much wisdom in the saying that to jaw jaw is better than to war war. We must accept the reality that we are all brothers and sisters sired by our fatherland.
“We cannot defeat separatist groups by force of arms alone; we can only defeat separatism by making all Nigerians feel like they belong. And this is only possible when we live up to the words of our national motto: Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
“As a nation, we asserted our independence in our infancy by lending to other nations. We must be careful not to lose the hard-won independence of our heroes’ past. By learning to live within our means, we can put a stop to the needless borrowings that threaten our economic independence.”