- Category: Politics
- Published on Sunday, 08 August 2010 04:46
- Written by Nigerian Compass
- Hits: 1912
The three are currently jostling for the nation’s presidency next year. The former EFCC boss, in an apparent call for the three to quit the stage for the younger generation to occupy the coveted seat in the next election, challenged youths never again to allow corrupt leaders at the helm of affairs in the land.
Beside, the former anti-graft chief asked young Nigerians to rise against corrupt leaders currently in the corridors of power, just as he challenged them to take their destiny in their hands by ensuring that they elect leaders that are not corrupt in the forthcoming elections.
Ribadu, in a paper entitled, “Faith, political engagement and the Nigerian youth,” at the Kaduna Community Town Hall Meeting with Nigerian youths, organized by Christian Awareness Initiative of Nigeria (CHAIN), added that the older generations led Nigeria at a very young age and wondered why they want to prevent the younger generation from taking their turn.
Ribadu argued that the likes of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Sir Aminu Kano and Chief Obafemi Awolowo initiated and realised the most important projects of their lives as young people, adding, “Today, we remember and revere them but the truth is that we are unconsciously saluting their youth.”
According to him, instead of the old horse that had dominated the nation’s political turf to attempt to remain there, the time for young Nigerians to take their rightful place in the leadership of the country had come.
He urged the youths to register when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commences the registration of voters for the 2011 elections, adding, “Let us register to vote en mass, let us vote en mass and let us defend our votes by all means. We must demand for competent people and not corrupt people for good governance.
“Dear compatriots, as I said at the 76th birthday anniversary of Professor Wole Soyinka recently in Lagos, 50 years of our federalism and less of our democracy pose the challenge of what can be an endless rite of passage, if a new vision is not allowed to take over our political space.
“From industry, through civil society, to the world of research and development, towards the important crucible of leadership, politics and management of development, I call on fellow young Nigerians today to bury the preoccupation with anger, cynicism and inertia and move in the direction of taking control of the destiny of our nation.
“Children of independence, fellow Nigerians, let us take our nation back today and save it from sliding irreversibly into chaos and disintegration. It may be a difficult job, it may even require sacrifice of material and emotional resources on the part of those who choose to join the train of change, but it is the most rewarding and glorious calling to save our nation from further decline.
“The important work to rebuild Nigeria then requires that we look across the world, just see what wonders fellow Nigerians, many of them young men and women, are doing in the management of institutions and initiatives. We need to start replicating that here at home.
“The independence struggle that gave us liberty from colonial rule was not a project initiated by adults.
“It was the project of young people who had faith in their own abilities, in their own future, in their fellowmen, as much as in their God.
“That is the message I bring to you today. Young men and women have to take back their country from ruin, from poor government, from corruption, and from failure.
“Young men and women have a good reason to do this. They own the future, they need to invest in it accordingly. If the past 50 years of our independence had been one long night of failure and shame, the only people who can remake it are the young people.
“If they hold and cherish their faith, as I hope they do, then they will also know that they have to do it with respect and honour to their fellow men and women knowing fully that we are all God’s children and that we achieve more when we unite in purpose and when we march as a team. We are one people with God that we must come together.
“There is always an historic challenge for every generation. The generation of our fathers interpreted their task as a call to liberate us from colonial rule and they were successful in rendering independence.
“It is a different issue if the independence they gave us was blemish in one respect or the other. It is the task of others to sanitise it. Some of our contemporaries had the historical challenge to terminate military rule and help us restore democracy. This was also discharged with credit.”