Speaking during a virtual edition of the NASFAT Global Youth Seminar with the theme: A Unified, Peaceful and Prosperous Nigeria, the vice president noted that young Nigerians hold the key to a more united, peaceful and prosperous nation.
Osinbajo disagreed with commentators who prefer a bleak view of Nigeria’s history, noting that “despite the onerous challenges we face, we have endured as a people and there is still so much that I believe should give us reason to face the future with hope.”
He added that, “I urge you to guard your hearts and protect your capacity for idealism and creative optimism. These are the tools with which you will build the Nigeria of our dreams. We have a future worth fighting for.
“Your generation has what it takes to move us away from the destructive and unproductive rent-seeking attitudes that engender conflict and on to the terrain of enhanced productivity.
“Your generation has the tools to usher in a new age of abundance and wealth creation that will lift our society beyond the hunger-induced and poverty-inducing squabbles over a national cake that has ceased to exist.
“As Nigeria seeks to find her proper place in the world in the 21st century, you are our nation’s most important resource. It is because of you that a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria is very possible.”
The vice president said: “Much of the discontent and tensions that we have are distributional conflicts ignited by the struggle for access to tangible and intangible resources.
“As resources become scarcer, identity-based claims to a share of the national patrimony become more aggressive and lead increasingly to conflict.
“Under these circumstances, we are liable to see each other as competitors and rivals instead of compatriots and eventually we begin to demonize each other as enemies.
“With a population of about 200 million, and with our country on track to be the third most populous nation on earth in a few decades, the challenge for us is creating opportunity for the huge number of people that increasingly need education, food, healthcare, and employment. This is where your capacity to innovate comes in.”
More than half of Nigeria’s population is young.
Nigeria commemorated 60 years as an independent nation on October 1, 2020.
Source: Pulse Nigeria.