Lagos – The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, has advised the youths to work for the unity of the country.
Usman made the call in a statement by the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Strategy, Alhaji Abdullahi Goje, in Lagos on Friday.
She said the youths should develop a nationalistic mindset as they prepared themselves for future leadership of the country.
The managing director spoke at the 2018 edition of United Action for Change Youth Leadership training at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos.
Her keynote address was titled: “The Youth as Forebears of the New Nigeria.”
“Developing a nationalistic mindset will enable the youth to avoid the manipulation of war mongers, ethnic and religious jingoists, who peddle divisive narratives for selfish interests,” she said.
Usman advised the youths to shun leaders who wielded religious sentiments and were always ready to drag them into unnecessary conflicts.
The managing director said youth should rather look for role models that could make them realise that they had a common destiny with the Nigerian nation.
She urged them to embrace politics early, emulating Nigerian leaders like Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr Nnamdi Azikwe who became leaders in their 30s.
According to her, the pride of Nigeria is in its diversity and the new Nigeria must be one in which leaders promote the things that bind the people together.
“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 our youths,” she said.
Usman called on the Federal and State Governments to enhance the capacity of the younger generation and give them more opportunities to contribute to national development.
In his speech, the organizer of the programme, Dr Muiz Banire, said the three-day training was put together for about 150 youths.
Banire said the programme was in fulfillment of a mission of preparing a new generation of future leaders with vision and values to effect the much-desired change in Nigeria.
He commended the NPA boss for her interest in youth development and for attending the function. (NAN)