Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on the older generation to quit politics, in order to create room for the youth to occupy the political space.
Obasanjo, who spoke at the Youth Governance Dialogue organised in Abeokuta, to mark this year’s International Youth Day, charged the youths to take their destiny in their hands.
Tactically referring to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is aged 74, the ex-President asked the youths to fight their way to the top and take action, rather than nagging.
He said: “I joined politics from the top. The only position I contested for in Nigeria was the Presidency, but I had a track record of achievements, which led to that. Nobody will choose you, you have to choose yourself. Saraki will not leave until you ask him to leave.
“When we talk about youth in leadership position, the point is: how are you prepared? Are you really prepared?
“People ask questions that what is the difference between Nigeria of 1960 and Nigeria of today? In 1950, 1960, there were values, but today, values have been eroded.
“As a youth, you have to carve a niche for yourself. Stop complaining. Don’t expect people to leave or shift. For instance, as I am standing, when you come to me and ask me to leave or shift, I may not respond.
“But when three or four of you come forward to me, two by my right hand side and two at my left and you press me together, you can actually force me out.
“So, if those you call old politicians refuse to move, suffocate them with your population, they will back out. If an 80, 90 years old man can be President, why not a 30-year-old man?”
Obasanjo, who noted that Nigeria needed leaders who are educationally and spiritually sound, enjoined youths to unite and contribute to the development of their fatherland.
The former President also spoke about the imperative of unity and integration of the country, urging the citizens to see themselves as one, and desist from acts capable of dividing the nation.