United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, at the weekend in Abuja, charged Nigerian youths to be proud of the country and not to lose hope in it.
“You have got education, you have the tools, and you have a huge future ahead of you, and you are condemning yourself before you start on that journey. Do not do that! Be proud of Nigeria your country; do not condemn her and do not lose hope,” Ms Mohammed was quoted as saying in a release by Oluseyi Soremekun, National Information Officer, UN Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria.
The Deputy Secretary-General had urged those who thought there was more bad than good in Nigeria to have a rethink, saying, “If you will your country that way, that’s the direction it will go. Even if it is not so good, you need to will it to succeed, because the success of this country is yours. If you will it to fail, we will have conflict after conflict.”
“If you think Nigeria is worse than better, then how are you going to turn it around?” Ms Mohammed asked and stated further, “If you do not want to build this nation, I do not know where you want to go. I can assure you the world is not ready to take 240 million Nigerians. Therefore, let’s think about how to salvage it together.”
On young men and women who are quick to compare Nigeria with other countries, the Deputy Secretary-General urged them to compare Nigeria with other countries with equal population and that had independence at the same time. “Do not compare apples with oranges.” She added.
She explained, “Whilst I agree that the potential of this country has not been fully met by successive governments, but I disagree with the view that there is no hope; I disagree with total condemnation of Nigeria. Nigeria is a great country and the best on earth.”
Ms. Mohammed urged educated young people to always tell the truth as they demand their rights. “With every right comes an obligation to tell the truth. But the truth in many cases comes in different colours depending on who is telling it. As an educated person, your statement has an impact on people’s lives. Some people take you seriously because you are educated and in the university.”
The Deputy Secretary-General urged them to be sure of their statement and always weigh the implications of their words as there are opportunities to collectively make things better in Nigeria.
“Young people must get involved. There is no reason to throw stones at any institution of government unless you are willing to get into that government and do something about it. It might take you a lifetime, but it does require people to make the sacrifice. If enough of us are pushing in the right direction, there will be a big difference.” She added.