Osita Chidoka, the immediate past minister of aviation and former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), says there is a need for a new charter that would inculcate the spirit of nationalism among Nigerian youths.
He made the remark on Sunday while delivering a lecture at the ‘Youth Governance Dialogue’, an annual conference organised by the Youth Development Center, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).
Chidoka, who was the lead speaker at the event, spoke on the topic “Towards a Guiding Political Philosophy for a Democratic Nigeria”.
The former aviation minister decried what he described as the absence of national philosophy within the polity and emphasised the need for leaders to pass on the right values to successive generations.
“Our national aspirations should inspire the next generation and provide them with the existential meaning of Nigeria; a meaning that transcends geography, natural resources and ethnicity,” he said.
“To grow Nigeria, we must build a society that harnesses human resources, provides equal opportunities and develops capacity for innovation.”
He added that leadership question remains key in the search for answers to Nigeria’s political problems.
“Many have argued that the trouble with Nigeria is leadership and others have asked ‘When is a Nation?’ Some insist that the absence of ideology is at the root of our political crisis. In all the views, the constant is the agreement that there is trouble with Nigeria. The leadership question is key,” he said.
Chidoka encouraged the youths to take a stand on critical national issues such as fiscal federalism, revenue derivation and sharing, size of government and its role in the economy.
“Do not let any political party or aspirant deceive you with promises of building bridges where there is no river. Insist that the existential questions confronting our nation must be answered by those who seek to lead us”, he admonished.
Earlier in his opening remark, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state who chaired the event said Nigeria was blessed with a highly talented and skilled youth population. He called on the political class to properly mentor and support the youths with policies that would encourage them to aspire to leadership positions.
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, said the Youth Governance Dialogue platform was designed as a learning platform for young people to learn from the experience of older and past political office holders on how to effectively get involved in the governance process.
The former president also highlighted the need for unity among the diverse ethnic groups in the country in order to guarantee a peaceful and prosperous nation.
Emeka Ihedioha, former deputy speaker of the house of representatives and Onofiok Luke, speaker of Akwa Ibom state house of assembly, attended the event.
Below is a video of the event: