Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday challenged Nigerian youths to brace up to the present day challenges in Nigeria, reminding them that the country’s “destiny is now more than ever before in your hands either to make or mar.”
Obasanjo made the assertion in his keynote address at the opening of a three-day retreat organised by Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, in conjunction with both the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, and the Ford Foundation, held in Abeokuta.
The former President, expressed hope that achieving the framework for peaceful co-existence and national cohesion for the country was feasible, and urged Nigerians to stop underestimating what they could achieve.
He noted that the country needed “not to be singing old narrative songs, which have not worked in their favour”, positing that “if there will be that turning point again in Nigeria, it must be now.”
“From the submissions that I have from the earlier speakers, Saudatu and others, I can say that I see hope for the country to achieve peace and national cohesion. It is feasible. All we now need is the spirit, which will galvanise all of us to stand strong and stand firm”, he declared.
He added that the country needed socio-economic development, infrastructure, employment and empowerment.
“Again, we need to dialogue enough. Even if we do not agree with ourselves, we still need to listen to each other’s views, at least, understand the points and views. We need to speak and speak up,” he stressed.
The former President, who further expressed satisfaction over the return of History as a subject in the nation’s educational curriculum, said the teaching of the crucial subject was important “as we must not lose sense of history, which in itself can contribute immensely towards promoting national cohesion.”
He observed that since his generation “are at departure lounge, youths of like-minds should be ready to key into the Nigeria dream and accept the challenge of turning Nigeria for good. It will not be easy, but achievable.”