By DANIEL IDONORÂ & JIMITOTA ONOYUME
Port Harcourt-PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan gave kudos, yesterday, to Nigerian youths for their role in and contribution to national growth,and described the current democracy as a gift from them.
â€œThere is an unchallengeable power of good in the Nigerian youthâ€,he said in a keynote address, entitled Nigerian Youths: A Call to Possibilitiesâ€ at the 26th Convocation of the University of Port Harcourt.
He was a pioneer student of the institution where he went on to add a masters and doctorate degrees. President Jonathan stated that in his determination to set a new developmental agenda and the conduct of free and fair election for the country he would commit himself to work with all Nigerians, especially the youths to bring the sad days of electoral malfeasance to an end.
To this end, Jonathanpromised to relate more often with the youths with a view to sharing ideas with them on socio-economic and political values best for Nigeria, saying that â€œas part of my contribution to this debate I will set up a facebook account that will focus primarily on the exchange of ideasâ€.
Expressing joy at â€œthe brilliance, innovation, patriotism, sacrifice and the passion for excellence that the youths of Nigeria have demonstrated time and againâ€, the president said: â€œwith over 70 per cent of our population below the age 35 we are a strong and sturdy community determined to defend our collective interestâ€
He said as he settled down to the duties of office, â€œI will be depending on the ideas, energy and cooperation of all Nigerians to bring our dreams to realityâ€; insisting that â€œthere can never be a better time for national transformation than nowâ€.
â€œIt is true that millions of our young people are waiting to take on the important project of protecting and defending our country. We must speedily put them to work. The urgent task in the now is to strengthen and consolidate our young democracy so that tomorrowâ€™s generations are freed to focus on contributing to other compelling matters of human civilizationâ€, he said. He stated that â€œas we approach the end of this administration, our first task will be to register to vote as soon as the