LAGOS - PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, called on the youth to lead the fight for the election of credible leaders that would lead the country out of the woods.
The President who spoke at a meeting with leaders of youth groups across the South West geo-political zone, asked them to be at the vanguard of the quest to clean up the polity and enthrone responsive leadership in the country.
He said: “You should be the vanguard to impress on the people that we must no longer be slaves to money politics,” adding that they should persuade their friends not to sell their conscience.
President asked the leaders of over 70 youths groups that attended the consultative meeting to be part of the on_going effort to rebuild Nigeria and set it on the path of renewal by guiding other Nigerians to make the right choices in the general elections, stressing: “We must elect people who can take us forward.”
The President reminded the youth leaders that only a while ago, the country was at par with the Asian Tigers and needed to catch up fast with the rest of the developed world.
He said: “We must elect leaders who will take us there; sustain good governance; transform Nigeria; and set the stage for the future.”
Getting it right
President Jonathan who thanked the youth leaders for coming at short notice reiterated his pledge to improve the lot of young persons, noting: “Our commitment is to work with the youth to ensure that Nigerians are proud everywhere. We will surely get it right.”
In their responses, the youth leaders through their spokesman, Francis Abayomi, Co-ordinator, South West Think-Thank on Democratic Governance, praised the President for his humility and his campaign strategy that emphasised wide consultations with major stakeholders in the polity, adding: “We are humbled by your consultation with us and could only wish you well in your effort to turn our country around.”.
Also speaking, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike, Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation, commended President Jonathan for his efforts to ensure credible elections but asked the President to investigate the allegation of underage voting in some parts of the country.
President Jonathan who was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, and some senior aides thanked the youth leaders for their contributions and promised to continue to work with them in the task of rebuilding and transforming the country.