The former president of Nigeria Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, during the democracy day celebration has highlighted that “On this Democracy Day 2018, I want to urge all Nigerians to pray
for peace in Nigeria. We need peace in Nigeria. And it is up to you
and I to ensure that our National Motto: Unity and Faith, Peace and
Progress, is a reality and not just mere rhetoric. I urge Nigerians to
understand and accept that nobody’s political, economic, religious
or social ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.
As this year’s Democracy Day falls on the holy month of Ramadan,
let me seize the opportunity to also extend Ramadan greetings to
the Muslim Ummah. As you pray for Nigeria, I join my faith with
yours and look forward to our prayers being answered by Almighty
There are many opportunities and crises on the horizon, but we
must have the mentality of seeing the opportunity in crisis rather
than the crisis in opportunity.
We have one of the fastest growing youth population in the world
and we must see this as an opportunity, not a crisis.
As I said previously, Nigerian youths ARE NOT LAZY.
What our youth need are opportunities to showcase their positive
talents. They need leaders who believe in them and show
affirmation for them through their words and actions.
Democracy is a game of numbers and the youths have the
numbers. More than 50% of our population are youths. If we
develop policies, programs and projects to empower the youth of
Nigeria, the Nigerian youth, who single handedly created
Nollywood, the third largest movie industry in the world, can be
expected to return the favour and make Nigeria proud.
And they are already making us proud both locally and
Nigerian youths are showcasing their brilliance around the world
and I want to make special mention of Ukoma Michael, who at
thirteen years of age invented a battery operated fan that lasts for
19 hours on a full charge. This ingenuity domiciled in Michael
should be encouraged by our leadership.
Internationally, Princess Elizabeth Bright and Ramota Tele Lawal,
two 22 year old Nigerian youths who in May of 2018 became the
youngest elected councillors in the United Kingdom, have made us
proud. Very proud indeed.
These youths are the epitome of the hardworking, talented,
innovative and ambitious Nigerian youth who make our nation
respected in the community of nations and give us hope for
tomorrow and national pride for today.
Rather than discourage them with our words and actions, we as
leaders must give our youths hope by using our language to draw
out the very best in them. We must accept that nations only grow
when elders plant trees whose shade they know they may never
personally enjoy. Leaders must think of the next generation and
not just the next election.
While we celebrate Ukoma, Elizabeth and Ramota, I know that
there are perhaps millions in Nigeria who are equally brilliant and
only need the right enabling environment to unleash their creative
genius. They are my inspiration on this Democracy Day. They are
the reason why I believe in the continued corporate existence of
this great nation founded on justice, equity and freedom.
Happy Democracy Day. God bless you and your family and may
God bless Nigeria.