The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in a call for peace hosted young Nigerians in the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 ahead of the National Youth Peace Concert which will hold in Abuja on Saturday.
The youths were led by Mike Omeri, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Onyeka Onwenu, Director-General, National Women Development Centre (NWDC), and Jude Imagwe, the Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Youth and Student Affairs.
The First Lady applauded the initiative of the concert saying it will be life changing for the youths and enlighten them on peaceful ways to live together with with neighbours in peace and serenity.
Dame Jonathan said: “I invited you here today for two reasons. One of them is to work with you to make Nigeria a better place for us to live in, and the other one is to ensure our states, local government areas, regions and zones are peaceful. No one can do it all, we need collective efforts to make Nigeria a better place to live in. Please, put the nation first, because no other country is better than ours.”
The First Lady condemned the attacks by insurgents in North-East Nigeria were citizens are being slaughtered in numbers.
“Today, I have two children. If they get killed, life is not worth living for me. Why will anyone therefore want to kill people’s children?,” she said.
She also added: “No mother will like to suffer in vain. Our joy is in the youths. You are the hope of Nigeria, the hope of tomorrow. I don’t want to lose any of you. Please, be co-ordinated, and also be good ambassadors at the concert so that the foreigners can take good news back home about us.”
In response to the First Lady’s speech, the visiting youths appealed for the schools to be well protected to prevent terrorist attacks.
Speaking on behalf of the youths were Yinka Gbadebo, Usman Ibrahim, Amina Abdulone and Dauda Abduljelil.
Ibrahim, who lost a dear one in the Federal College attack, said: “I lost a namesake the oldest son of my sister and a friend in the Buni Yadi killings. The situation is pathetic. Satanic people are killing our brothers and sisters every day, and we need solutions fast.’’
Gbadebo appealed to the first lady to advocate for 20 per cent of appointments to be reserved for youths, just as 35 per cent have been reserved for women.