President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to Nigerian youths who played a significant role in making the 2015 elections a success.
He said the role they played in galvanising the social media platform as well as mobilising their peers to make the right decision, made the 2015 elections a model for democratic governance in Africa.
“The outcome is today being celebrated worldwide. Your role is greatly appreciated,” the president said while speaking at an event to mark the International Youth Day Celebration, at the banquet hall of the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
The president, who stated that “change was not a mere political slogan but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians, urged the Nigerian youth populace to be the change they wish to see.
“We, therefore, seek your cooperation and patience in this regard. The youth must therefore be vanguards of this change and at the same time be the change that they wish to see.”
He said all must work together towards the actualisation of sustainable peace and harmony to ensure the success of this administration and enable it build an enduring legacy.
Stating that statistics had shown at least 20 percent of the continent’s population of 1.2 billion was between the age brackets 15 – 24 years, with about 42 percent below 15 years of age, the president said, “as the rest of the world gets older, Africa is getting younger.
“This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It all depends on what we make of it. One of the greatest challenges facing governments and policy makers in Africa today is how to provide opportunities and meet the needs of young people, the vast majority of whom need to be empowered to enable them to lead decent lives and contribute their quota to the socio-economic and political development of their countries.”
The president said he was very concerned that the economic growth in Nigeria had so far not translated into “commensurate and improved social outcomes, especially for our 60 million young people who make up the majority of the population.”