Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has called on youths to remain focused, clamour for leadership position and avoid being used as mercenaries to foment violence.
Bello made the call on Wednesday in Lokoja when he broke his fast with some youths and the representatives of various students unions in the state.
Bello, an advocate of youth leadership, urged them to take their future in their hands, and leverage on the opportunities provided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that Buhari by signing the “Not Too Young To Run bill” into law had now allowed them to vie for political positions of their choice.
He, however, advised them not to allow themselves to be used as tools to perpetrate violence or any form of crime, also urging them not be be used by the older elites for their selfish interests.
Bello urged them to make their voices crystal clear on the right changes they were really yearning for, adding that when that was done he was ready to support them.
“The older generation have failed us and, it is time for them to give room for the younger generation to take over the helm of leadership to make it right.
“And, the responsibility lies on you as youths to take this into your own hands to fix the future of this country.
“You have called on me to lead you as the President and, I will heed to your call when the time comes. And, you must make your voices crystal clear.
“You should not avail yourselves to be used as tools to perpetuate any form of violence or crimes because the future of this country lies in your hands,” Bello said.
Mr Moses Okezie, Director Research and Development to the Kogi government, also urged the youths to emulate the courage of Bello.
Okezie said that the governor had opened the way for youths to go into politics and had also created an enabling environment for them through various policies that foster youth inclusiveness in governance.
The director also reiterated the call of the governor to the youths, urging them to be focused in their academics while they work towards toeing the path of the governor.
Mr Enyo Shaibu, National President of all Kogi Students in Nigeria and abroad, lauded governor Bello for all that he had done for the youth, who he had made a priority in his administrative.
Shaibu said that it was on this note that the Nigerian students were calling on Bello to run for President in 2023 so that all Nigerian students can also benefit what students of Kogi institutions had benefited under Bello’s administration.
“We are calling on his Excellency, the governor of Kogi to come and lead us as President in 2023 because in the constituency of students he has done so well.
“Because it is only in Kogi that the educational sector is not being interrupted, it is only in Kogi that COVID-19 was not being allowed to distrupt the academic session.
“When he came on board he increased our bursary by 300 per cent, he gave scholarships to all our medical students which is still ongoing.
“He has given us a comfortable environment and we have been having calls from students on other states wanting it to be reciprocated in their own states.
“And, that can only be done when he is being given the national assignment to do.
“That is why we are calling on all students in Nigeria to come with us and march with us as we bring bello as our next President,” Shaibu said.
Ms Saidat Jimoh, Coordinator, Association of Nigerian Female Students, Kogi Chapter also appreciated the governor for giving women a voice and including them in his administration.
“We want to thank the governor because he has been a gender friendly governor, he has also given life to some women that were hopeless in the field of politics, humanity.
“And he has given us the room to tell the whole world that he can do it because he has done it in Kogi.
“He has made women relevant in Kogi and he has brought a large percentage of women into politics in Kogi which has given room for upcoming girls to go into politics in the future.
“That is why we are imploring him to come forward and create an enabling environment for more females in the country because when there is no women, there is no future,” Jimoh said.