Prof. Usman Yusuf
By Taiye Agbaje
Prof. Usman Yusuf, former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has called on Nigerian youths to unite towards making the country a better place for all.
Yusuf gave the charge, at s virtual youth summit organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDO) and Nigeria Diaspora Network (NDN).
The event, which was monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, was titled: “Youth and National Development in Nigeria.”
Yusuf, who emphasised the importance of youths’ involvement in nation building, urged them to be ready to actively participate in the political process.
“This is what I tell the youth everywhere I go. Life does not come like a remote control.
“We all know that it is the youth that bring every government into power but the youths think things will come to them just on a platter of gold. No!
“You have to mobilise yourselves, join political parties, choose candidates that are younger and vote.
“Nobody will give you power on a platter of gold; you have to vie for it through your PVC (Permanent Voter’s Card),” he said.
He said the youth would not be counted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, but by coming out to participate in the election process.
According to him, your right as citizens does not end in balloting.
“You must ask questions. Youth must get involved in our political process for any meaningful change to take place,” he said.
He, however, advised that the youth should not see public service as a way to enrich one’s pocket but for the interest of the country.
The ex-NHIS boss, who recalled the bond of love and understanding that existed among Muslim and Christian students while growing up, charged the youths to unite together irrespective of religious, ethnic, language or political barrier.
“This country, Nigeria, has given my generation so much that we can never give back.
“I am an optimist and wherever I go, I tell the youth my history.
“I attended a Catholic school and I was the only Muslim in my class.
“We went into the world and competed favourably. The so-called village school we went were better than the best school presently.
“This was the Nigeria of my time. We had bond of relationship between Christians, Muslins and different tribes,” he said.
Yusuf, who decried the rate of insecurity in the country, called on the youth to unite against it.
Dr Toye Sobande, a strategic leadership expert and certified management consultant, said the focus about leadership position should be on the quality of ideas one possessed.
He said though people classified youthful age between 18 to 49, age could be physical or ideological.
“For me, you can be 39 years and have ideological age for governance,” he said.
Sobande enjoined the young people who plan to go into politics to be a person of character, have respect for time and people’s opinions.
“You cannot build character when you show disrespect and disregard to people.
“We must respect our elders and have mutual regards for each other,” he said.
He condemned the way and manner some youths conversed on social media.
According to him, you don’t wrestle power when you don’t have character.
The expert, who urged the young people to develop themselves to be competent in their careers, advised them to be ready to build network of friends.
Petra Onyegbule, former Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, said the youth must be respectful, resourceful and be a person of value to fit into political offices.
She said seeking for a political office was not all about money but being discipline.
Also speaking, the 23-year old Destiny Asen, said Nigerian youths were ready to contribute their quota if the opportunity is given.
Asen, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Perfect Asen Entertainment Ltd., said a lot of young people were scared to join politics because they feel it is a dirty game.
He said that he decided to declare openly for the governorship position of Benue to inspire many youths.
NAN reports that while NIDOA’s mission is to promote the spirit of patriotism, networking and cooperation among Nigerians in Diaspora, for their individual and collective success in the countries they reside.
NDN is an organisation for volunteer professionals of like mind working with accomplished patriotic Nigerian professionals striving for the development of the country.(NAN)www.nannews.ng