By Bukola Olasanmi

Ahead of 2019 general elections, the leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ambassador Murtala Garba, has described politicians engaging youths as thugs as the greatest enemy of development.

Garba stated this yesterday in Abuja at a town hall mentorship discourse organised by the council, with the theme, “Quality Education, a tool for Peace, Security and Sound Economy for Youth Development of a Nation,” focused on the imperative of good and affordable education, drawing reference from the early 60s to late 70s when the rot in the education system was yet to assume a worrisome level.

The discourse, according to NYCN President is to proffer solutions to challenges facing the youths in their quest for a better life.

He said: “Part of the agenda of this programme is the use of youths as thugs during elections by politicians. We would like to use this opportunity to pass the message to Nigerian youths that we must be very careful about the kind of people we take as our mentors. Be careful of those who give you peanuts to attack others and destroy your future.

“We say no to anyone who will call on Nigerian youths to take on others on his behalf. We call on the youths to get their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and register with any political party of their choice. We should support whoever we feel can rescue this nation. This time around, the youths should not only support others, they should come out and contest for elective positions.

“We feel it is very important this time around to know what mentorship is all about and who should be mentoring the youths. We organised this discourse and I want to say it is not political or religious. It is simply a mentorship discourse. Nigerians youths also need to make their feelings known to government. We need to know what we can get from government both at the state and the federal level and also how we can contribute our quota to the growth of our nation.”

Also speaking at the event, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters, Gideon Sammani tasked the youths to keep faith with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, stating that in no distant future; Nigerians would realise that the President mean well for the nation and her citizens.