By Ajibola Abayomi,
May 4, 2018.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman has called on Nigerian Youths to continue to work for the Unity of Nigeria by developing a nationalistic mindset like the likes of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa as they prepare for future leadership of the country.
She made this call while delivering a key note address titled; The Youth as forebears of the New Nigeria at the 2018 edition of United Action for Change Youth Leadership Training Programme at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos on Thursday 3 May,2018.
According to her, developing a nationalistic mindset will enable them to avoid the manipulation of war mongers, ethnic and religious jingoists who peddle divisive narratives for selfish interests.
She advised Youths to shun leaders who wield religious sentiments and always ready to drag them into unnecessary conflicts but rather they should look for role models that can make them realize that they have a common destiny with the Nigerian nation.
The MD noted; “The pride of Nigeria is in its diversity and the new Nigeria must be one in which leaders employ the things that bind us together efforts to limit the fault lines and the divisions that they bring. There can be no greatness for Nigeria if every citizen of the country cannot feel at home whether they are in Sokoto, Ilorin, Lagos, Uyo or Aba. The onus to ensure that we have a country where every single Nigerian can proudly call home lies in the hands of the our youth’’
She enjoined the youths to develop a cosmopolitan mindset which abhors all forms of discrimination and prioritize merit, honesty, hard workand love for Nigeria, pointing out that appointments or recognition is not given on religious or ethnic backgrounds but rather on discipline, dedication, commitment, diligence etc.
“As youths who aspire to lead Nigeria into a new era, we must develop a deep sense of righteous living and contentment, none of which can happen without self-worth and self-control, essential life skills that need to be developed also include the capacity to work under pressure, work with other and take decisions that reflect a deep understanding of the situation. Potential leaders must also learn to read and be attentive listeners”. She added.
While urging the youths to cultivate a sense of service to the people, the Managing Director advised them to embrace politics early by emulating Nigerian leaders like Sirs Ahmadu Bello, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe who became leaders in their Thirties (30s) and Senator Hillary Clinton, who wanted to be President at 69 but has been in public service for about four decades and President Obama who became America President at 46 but had been in active public service at 24.
She called on government to enhance the capacity of the younger generation and give them more opportunities to contribute to national development.
In his speech, the convener of United Action for Change, Dr Muniz Banire said the 3-day training program was put together for about 150 youths in fulfilment of mission of preparing a new generation of future leaders with right vision and values to effect the much desired change in Nigeria.
Dr Banire commended and thanked the Managing Director for interest in youths development which she has demonstrated by not only attending the function but delivered a paper that will forever remain a valuable material in the library of the youths.