‘Don’t wish us dead, you still need our mentoring’ – Obasanjo to Nigerian youths

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday pleaded with the nation’s youth not to wish elders in the country “dead”, saying they need them as “mentors” and “advisers” in their journey of life.

Obasanjo who stated that his “greatest fear about Nigeria” today remained the “anger and frustration of the youths,” said if not managed, it could lead to “youth explosion.”

He lamented that Nigerian youths are not getting help either from the government or anybody. The Ebora Owu who spoke during the Youth Governance Dialogue in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said while his generation had “limitless opportunities but no facilities” in their time, the youth of today have facilities but little or no opportunities.

He appealed to them to work hard to help themselves and be ready to pay the price for the right cause they believe, saying in spite of all odds, the youth still remained his greatest hope for Nigeria.

Obasanjo noted that when he left secondary school, he received letters of appointments from five establishments and wondered whether any Nigerian university graduate could have such opportunities today.

“Don’t wish us dead, don’t wish us to disappear because you will need us. You need us mentors and advisers to mentor and prepare you for the future. You need our experience and assistance of some of us to guide you through life.

You should not lose hope, you should not feel frustrated. Whenever I go, they always ask me what is my fear about Nigeria and Africa. And I said my greatest fear is youth anger, frustrations and youth explosion which have no bound.

We have the Boko Haram in the north, the MASSOB and IPOB in the South East, the militants in the Niger Delta and the OPC in the Southwest. All of these are an expression of anger and frustrations.

We have what it takes to be great as a nation and we can’t transform this country without the youths. My greatest hope in this country is also the youth. You the youth should work to help yourselves. You must be ready to pay the price for what you stand for,” Obasanjo said.


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