Avoid past leadersa�� mistake, Jonathan charges youths

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised Nigerian youths, especially aspiring young leaders, not to repeat the mistakes of the past, charging them to revolutionise a new paradigm shift in leadership and citizenship.
Jonathan gave the charge on Tuesday in Yenagoa when he received the New Nigeria 2019 Group, (#NN-2019) and the Young Professionals of Nigeria (YPN), led by Chima Nwafor and Moses Siasia.
He also commended the youth groups for trying to chart a new course for the socio-political development of the country.
The former president, who described youths as the pillars of any society, stressed that anybody who meant well for the society would not downplay the role of the youths, noting that the political history of the country was replete with youths who have played leadership positions and performed creditably well.
He therefore urged the youths not to make the fundamental mistakes of past leaders which included tribalism, nepotism, and religious intolerance.
He said: a�?I am happy that you cut across all parts of the country, you are not here because you are Christians or Muslims, you are not here because you are from the South-South, or from the North-East, or North West or South West, but because you are Nigerian youths that are committed to a particular cause and you want to make an impact for a better society for us and the future generations.a�?
In a statement issued by his media adviser, Jonathan identified himself with other leaders who had advocated for young people to be involved in leadership.
According to the statement, Jonathan said that he believed in the philosophy of the late Maitama Sule, who posited a�?that the young breed without old breed will breed greed.a�? I believe that both old and young people must come together.
He recalled that there was a time young people played prominent roles in the nationa��s politics, adding that, a�?all the historical names you hear: Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, the Sarduana of Sokoto, Michael Okpara, got involved in governance at very young age. Some of them were ministers in their twenties.a�?
He stressed that the situation was similar even till the time of the military heads of state, from Yakubu Gowon, who was 32 and Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari who became heads of state as young men.
Jonathan continued: a�?I am not envisioning a government that every actor will be below 35 years old, but I share the aspiration of those who want young people to be fully involved in governance.
a�?I remember when Alfred Diette Spiff was the military governor of the then old Rivers State, though most of the members of his cabinet were older than him and even referred to him as a�?my son,a�? together they achieved much in infrastructure and human development.
Earlier, the Convener of NN-2019, Dr. Chima Anyaso and Chairman, NYPF Moses Siasia, said that they are consulting with elder statesmen in the country to seek their support in mobilising young minds to advocate for democratic inclusion in 2019.
They stressed that they had taken up the challenge to participate actively in the countrya��s democratic process.

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