By Joel Ajayi
As 2019 General election is around the corner, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has appealed to Nigerian youths to eschew violence and shun being used as political thugs during the forthcoming elections.
Youth and Sports made the appeal at the Old Parade Ground Abuja where beneficiaries of the N- Power programme rallied support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.
In his remarks, Barrister Dalung thanked the youths for gathering in their numbers to support President Buhari and urged them to avoid acts capable of causing chaos during and after elections.
“As we approach the 2019 Elections, let me appeal to the youths to shun thuggery, violence and being used as tools to foment trouble. Since 1999 to 2015, the youths were banished to mere tools of manipulation by politicians but from 2015 to 2019, President Buhari’s Government changed the narratives. The youth are now active participants in the determination of their destiny, therefore, those of us in this program are custodians of the 2019 elections.
“We have a responsibility to educate Nigerians on where and how to vote. We also have the responsibility to make sure that the next result of the election remains the true reflection of who Nigerians have voted for. Let us refrain from anything that will instigate crises or violence during the election. The youths should be as wise as the serpent and as harmless as the dove.”
Barrister Dalung also promised that President Buhari administration will continue to empower youths to be productive citizens of the country.
“Your presence here is a demonstration that there is hope for this country. You are the future of this country and in a demonstration of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to invest in the youths, we developed this program called N- Power. In the history of approach to poverty alleviation and job creation in Africa, this is the highest and massive approach by any government in Africa to attack poverty.
“We have over 500,000 young people engaged. If re-elected, this government will not only enlarge the N-Power program but will re-evaluate it and ensure that beneficiaries of this program proceed to be able to create employment and jobs so that they can employ others.
“The Federal Government will continue to invest in the program and support the beneficiaries because they are the first generation of the effort of this government to begin to build new leaders for the future”, Dalung said.