The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to work with lecturers to end incessant strikes in Nigeria universities.
Atiku stated this at a youth programme with the theme “Intergenerational Synergy on Government”, organised by PDP to commemorate the 2022 International Youth Day celebration in Abuja on Friday.
The former vice president, who narrated how his father was arrested for never wanting him to go to school, described education as fundamental right of any citizen, especially the children and youth.
He decried the inability of the government to resolve lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying such would not happen if he is elected president.
“I want to pledge that I will work with university authorities and government to make sure we end this incessant strikes by ASUU.
“This is because education is fundamental to your growth. It doesn’t matter whether you are in politics, business or any sector. The fundamental right of every youth or every citizen is to be educated.
“Therefore it is the responsibility of any responsible government to make sure that right is given to every Nigerian, every youth in this country,” Atiku said.
Atiku, who reiterated his pledge for youth inclusive government, promised to provide them with the opportunities to acquire the training and experience to take over from the older generations.
He urged the youth to support the PDP to take over government in 2023 to rescue them and the nation.
“I believe that the PDP provides the best platform for you to actualise your individual’s collective and national aspirations,” he said.
Atiku encouraged youth who wanted to go into politics, either as part-time or full time career, to be patient and courageous in building their ways to the top.
The PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said that the party would take care of all when it comes back to power by 2023.
He said that there would be sufficient representation for youth in the government, both in elected or appointed positions.
“PDP is the only party that has done it in the past and will do it again.
“We will rebuild this country and you will have a better country. Power belongs to you; power does not belong to we the old generation. We are only rebuilding to hand over to you,” he said.
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, the acting chairman of the occasion, passed a vote of confidence on Mr Ayu and his executive. He urged members to join the party leaders to rescue it.
Mr Elumelu said those calling for the dissolution of Mr Ayu’s National Working Committee (NWC) did not mean well for the party and the nation.
“What they should be thinking about is how to join us together to unite this party, unite Nigerians that are looking forward to PDP to rescue them and of course, come back to power come 2023,” he said.
Mr Elumelu urged the youth not to be deterred by what they were going through, but work with PDP to return to power.
“Let me charge youth to note that not only the future, but the present belongs to you. It is your time and you must make good use of it,” he said.
The PDP National Youth Leader, Muhammed Suleiman, advised youth not to see leadership as an entitlement, but a process that involved all stakeholders in every aspect of the society.
Mr Suleiman said the youth must be prepared to have the right mindset and humility to deal with the challenges that come with leadership.
He said that the PDP NWC, led by Mr Ayu, was fully youth-oriented and ready to support them in any endeavour.
“Our presidential candidate Abubakar has shown over the years that he is a true believer in the capacity of the youth.”