Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday attributed the current ethnic and regional tensions in the country to the handiwork of some political elites.
Osinbajo made this known at a meeting of regional youth leaders organised by the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Affairs at the NICON Transcorp, Abuja.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, urged the youth to shun such questionable personalities in the interest of peace and progress of the country.
He noted with concern that the elites were only using the youth to score cheap political goals.
He, therefore, advised the young people to shun any act capable of polarizing the country along ethnic, sectional and religious lines.
“It will be worst for us if we allow some selfish people to push us to unnecessary war. Nigeria holds a lot of promises for all of us.
“I know and we all know that a lot of you have been excluded from the good things of this country and of course we can trace that to poor and bad governance over the years.
“But again, what we should be clamouring for is good governance, not separatism, not secession.
“This is all about elite competition. The youth are only being used as tools to promote socio-political disorder.
“Only God knows how much some elites, who hid behind the curtains, paid those, who made that declaration in Kaduna.
“Okay, if I don’t want to be importing things from Singapore, I can use this idea of Biafra to make money and some people are making huge money from it.
“Those, who were agitating and calling for Biafra before, are now singing another tune after building their palaces,’’ he said.
He frowned at the hate speeches and divisive comments resonating across the country, stressing that the situation required urgent attention from all concerned, especially the youth groups in the country.
He, therefore, urged them to raise their voices against such speeches, saying no country could develop under an atmosphere of social discontent.
He also called on the youth to come up with “better ideas, better organization’’ rather than engaging in unnecessary antagonism or spreading fake news through the social media.
In his remark, the Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, reassured that the National Assembly would continue to provide an atmosphere conducive for the youth to thrive in the country.
According to him, the youth have strong contributions to make in making Nigeria better.
“But we also believe that we must enable them, we must provide them the opportunity to realize their dreams and aspirations.
“This situation that we have found ourselves in, where youths from different parts of the country make hate speeches, is not helpful for the country and is not helpful to the youth.
“You need to come together and you will find us as good, useful partners. I want to promise that we will not be found wanting in the discharge of our responsibilities.
“Once your requests are brought to us for legislation we will not hesitate to support them so as to make you better citizens,’’ he said.
Alhaji Nasiru Adhama, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Affairs, explained that the meeting was part of ongoing consultations with youth leaders with a view to finding lasting solutions to youth agitations in the country.
He stated that the meeting is also meant to address the problems of hate speeches and ethnic tensions emanating from some quarters.
Adhama revealed that a more expanded meeting of youths from all states of the federation would soon be convened by his office to address the challenges facing the youth in the country.