<!– Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo in Addis Ababa –>
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to capitalise on the #EndSARS protests across the country to show that he cares about the people, especially the youth’s welfare.
The elder statesman said the president could make Nigerian youths know that he understood their plight and would make life better for them, particularly as the father of the youths.
According to a statement by Moses Olafare, the Director of Media, Ooni’s palace, Obasanjo, who spoke in Ile Ife, during a visit to Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi said many youths had struggled to get an education, while the educated ones among them were frustrated over lack of opportunities.
Obasanjo said the protests were a product of extensive agitations by youths that must be attended to by the government, adding that there were windows of opportunities which the government could explore to show that it cared about the people.
Obasanjo was quoted as saying “Over 65 per cent of our population are under the age of 35, who look up to the best in life, who struggle for education; some of them didn’t even get educated while those who are educated get frustrated because of lack of opportunities. We must realise that the lid on the boiling steam would have to be removed.
“But I believe that there are windows of opportunity which the government can explore to show that it cares about the people, especially the youth’s welfare as the father of the country, particularly as the father of the youths.
“Fortunately, by experience, the President has children and he knows how youths behave. I believe that the opportunities can still be taken to let the youths know that he, as a father, understands their plight and his government understands their plight and he is ready to make life better for them,” Obasanjo concluded.
In his remarks, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, described the #EndSARS struggle as a clear message from the youths to the government, particularly about their ability to get things done in a coordinated manner.
He then urged the youths to allow the government to fully attend to their yearnings
“If you look at the #EndSARS protests, you will see that our youths have what it takes to rule the country. Since day one, they have shown leadership, accountability and huge sense of responsibility, which have sent a clear message to the government.
“As a youth leader myself, I am proud that we all have communicated our ideas and it is heartwarming that we have been heard. Dear youths, it is time to retreat particularly to prevent those with ulterior motives from hijacking the peaceful message of peace.
“The whole world is aware of our peaceful conduct and we must not let some bad elements tarnish this enviable integrity. Once again, I wish to urge our youths to stop the protest for now and give peace a chance. This would disallow the government from using force.”
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