Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked young Nigerians to do more to contribute to the country’s growth.
He urged young people not to let anyone tell them that “they are too young to lead”, stressing that those who frustrate young people are not better equipped than they are.
Obasanjo said this on Thursday when the Nigerian National Youth Council, NYCN, visited him at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), in Abeokuta, in the state of Ogun.
Inviting young people to do more, Obasanjo recalled that he started showing his qualities as a guide in the Congo when he was under 30 while on a military mission there.
The former president expressed concern about the growing number of young people who are not yet in command of the nation, unlike what was achieved in his time.
He said that all he had obtained for himself or for the country was because he had access to education.
Obasanjo also complained that 13 million children are currently out of school in Nigeria.
He said: “Whatever I have done, I have done it because I was educated and the love I have for Nigeria. If I didn’t have education, I would not have been able to do what I have done and today, it pains me that more than 13million Nigerian children who should be in school are out of school.
“We don’t need additional teachers; you will only increase what those teachers get maybe by 40 per cent or something, we can even do two streams if we prepare for that and start two years from now and those children would have become product that would be able to make contributions and make their own life better and as well making the life of their families too better.
“I am so much concerned about the youths, the truth is, over 60 per cent of our populations are youths and under 30 years of age.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you are too young, I started making contribution to the world when I was serving in Congo in 1960, I was only 24 years old. By the time I went to the war front, I was still under 35 years of age, by the time I became the Head of State, I was under 40 years of age.”