Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the youths need a ‘reform’ in mindset in order to bring positive changes to the country when they are given more opportunity in governance as they have been agitating for.
Speaking while receiving some members of New Nigeria 2019 9NN-2019 group and the Young Professionals of Nigeria (YPN) in Yenagoa, on Tuesday, the former President also said he did not envisage a time where everyone involved in governance will be below 35 years of age.
Rather, the former President said young Nigerians must work with their older counterparts to give the country effective governance.
“I am not envisioning a government that every actor will be below thirty-five years old, but I share the aspiration of those who want young people to be fully involved in governance.
“I remember when Alfred Diette Spiff was the military governor of the then old Rivers State, most of the members of his cabinet were older than him and even referred to him as ‘my son,’ but together they achieved much in infrastructure and human development.”
On the need for the change of mindset among the youths, the former President said, “Before I leave, let me charge the young people in two areas: the young must reform the old for us to grow positively. At the same time most of the challenges we are having in the society; it is not that the young people created them, but they are being used negatively.
“We talk about cultism, hired killers, terror, kidnapping, the elderly cannot enter the bush to go and stay for days. A group like yours constituting of CEOs, how do you create platforms to re-orientate the thinking of our young people? I am glad that you mentioned setting up similar bodies, across the country.”
“At least, even if you start from the universities and secondary schools, to change the mindset of the youths. Youth movements like Boys Scout, Boys Brigade, and Girls Guide, developed from this kind of thinking. The growth of society should not be marked by flashy cars, skyscrapers, and beautiful roads but by the people, the way they think and the way they do things.”
Sahara Reporters had reported the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, charging older generation of Nigerians to make rooms for the youths in politics and administration of the country at the presentation of a book authored by the late Dr. Matthew Mbu, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs titled, ‘Dignity in Service,’ last Tuesday.