The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to work with government and lecturers to end incessant strikes in Nigerian universities.
Abubakar stated this at a youths programme with the theme “Intergenerational Synergy on Government”, organised by PDP to commemorate the 2022 International Youth Day celebration in Abuja on Friday.
Abubakar, who narrated how his father was arrested for never wanting him to go to school, described education as fundamental right of any citizen, especially the children and youths.
He decried the inability of the government to resolve lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying such would not happen under a PDP or his led administration when elected as president.
“I want to pledge that I will work with university authorities and government to make sure we end this incessant strikes by ASUU.
“This is because education is fundamental to your growth. It doesn’t matter whether you are in politics, business or any sector. The fundamental right of every youth or every citizen is to be educated.
“Therefore it is the responsibility of any responsible government to make sure that right is given to every Nigerian, every youth in this country,” Abubakar said.
The former vice president who reiterated his pledge for youth inclusive government, promised to provide youths with the opportunities to acquire the training and experience to take over from the older generations.
Abubakar urged the youth to support the PDP to take over government in 2023 to rescue the youth and the nation.
“I believe that the PDP provides the best platform for you to actualise your individual’s collective and national aspirations,” he said.
Abubakar encouraged youths who wanted to go into politics, either as part-time or full time career, to be patient and courageous in building their ways to the top.
The PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, said that the party would take care of all when it comes back to power by 2023.
He said that there would be sufficient representation for youths in the government, both in elected or appointed positions.
“PDP is the only party that has done it in the past. I will do it again.
“We will rebuild this country and you will have a better country. Power belongs to you; power does not belong to we the old generation. We are only rebuilding to hand over to you,” he said.
The Minority Leader of the House, Sen. Ndudi Elumelu, the acting Chairman of the occasion, who passed a vote of confidence on Ayu and his executive, urged members to join the party leaders to rescue it.
Elumelu said those calling for the dissolution of Ayu’s National Working Committee (NWC) did not mean well for the party and the nation.
“What they should be thinking about is how to join us together to unite this party, unite Nigerians that are looking forward to PDP to rescue them and of course, come back to power come 2023.”
Elumelu urged the youth not to be deterred by what they were going through, but work with PDP to return to power.
“Let me charge youth to note that not only the future, but the present belongs to you. It is your time and you must make good use of it,” Ayu said.
The PDP National Youth Leader, Muhammed Suleiman, advised youths not to see leadership as an entitlement, but a process that involved all stakeholders in every aspect of the society.
Suleiman said that the youth must be prepared to have the right mindset and humility to deal with the challenges that come with leadership.
He said that the PDP NWC, led by Ayu, was fully youth-oriented and ready to support the youth in any endeavour.
“Our presidential candidate Abubakar has shown over the years that he is a true believer in the capacity of the youth.”