The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday said he would explore practical ways to provide gainful employment for the youth, if elected.
Addressing a gathering of young people at a programme tagged “Secure the Future: Discussing the Future with the Youth” in Lagos, Buhari said he would pursue efforts geared at empowering the youth.
The presidential aspirant described the youth as the hope and future of the nation, saying he would do his best to secure their future if given the mandate.
He said that no nation developed without a functional education system and promised to evolve creative solutions to address some of the challenges in the sector.
Buhari described the insecurity in the North-East and some other parts of the country as worrisome, saying he would confront the issue of security with the grit it deserved.
He said apart from giving priority to the problems of unemployment and insecurity, he would address the issue of corruption, if elected.
“We have identified three things, the first is insecurity; we know what we are going through with Boko Haram, militants and other insecurity issues affecting the country. We will do our best to address that.
The rate of unemployment in the country has continued to increase since 1999 and if given the mandate, we will arrest the ugly development.
Also, we need to address the issues of corruption in this country. This is because if we don’t kick corruption out of the country now, it will kick us out,” he said.
The candidate said the objective of the APC was not to get power for the sake of getting it, but to rehabilitate all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Buhari urged youths to be part of the change Nigeria required and participate actively in the electoral process.
He challenged youths to take part in the elections and make sure that their votes counted.
The APC candidate urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that the new dates for the elections were sacrosanct as any further shift would not be accepted by Nigerians.
APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in his contribution, said that youths were key to making the country a better place.
He said the APC was a symbol of hope and the party would not disappoint Nigerians, if it gained power at the centre.
Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who is also the Director of Buhari/Osibajo Campaign Organisation, said Buhari was fit and competent to rule the country.
“Buhari is fit to rule. He is intelligent and credible. He has just delivered a speech off hand, that tells you the man is mentally fit to rule.
“Those wishing him dead are being unfair to him. He is fit and everybody can see, “he said.
Former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Kayode Fayemi, urged the youth to troop out and vote for Buhari on March 28, saying the candidate had the passion and the determination to transform the country.
One of the youths at the programme, Mr Oluwatosin Ogunkuade, who is Vice-President, National Association of Nigerian Students, said the youths had been at the receiving end of insecurity and the challenges in the education sector.
He urged the APC presidential candidate to improve their lot and fix the education sector, if elected.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, former Bayelsa governor, Mr Timpre Syla and former Minister of the Federal Capital Teritory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai were among other top APC personalities at the youth programme.