Stuart Symington, US ambassador to Nigeria, says Nigerian youth should be concerned about the country’s future and should not allow been used as thugs in the 2019 elections.
He said this in Lagos on Thursday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association seminar where he delivered a keynote address.
The ambassador said the Nigerian youth is a powerful force for good beyond the country and the African region.
“Leadership begins with each of you. For example, if somebody reports to this vote-buying, who has made the mistake, who has done something wrong? Two people; the person who paid and the person who took it,” he said.
“So, one of the things I urge you to do between now and February next year is to do everything you possibly can to make sure that those people who might be in desperate circumstances are little better off because of something that you do today, so that no one would be driven by some sorts of need to take money for their vote, or their right to vote.
“Another thing is sometimes outside of polling places there are people who purport to be either a thug or security person who are keeping folks from going in to vote. When people act like that, they are not actually increasing security they are reducing security. And so, if you are one of those people who is asked to do one of those things you have a choice; you can either do it or not do it, you can say no or say yes to the future of your country.”
He added that what distinguish Nigeria are not the resources of its oil or the resources of its land and water, but the young people.
He said the challenge is how the youths can take the resources and make Nigeria and the world better than it would be.