By Fortune Abang
Abuja – Malam Nuhu Ribadu, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has advocated for more youths involvement in nation building for meaningful growth.
Ribadu, who was the Director of Field Operations of the President Buhari’s re-election Campaign Organisation, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, young people must see themselves as change agents and should participate in activities that will promote their interest for a better future.
“I think it is to get up and be part of whatever that can improve your country; I think that matters more than anything.
“Young men at early age should get involved, be productive, participate and we must work to give them opportunity and chance.
“We must find a way of not making some disadvantages for them; let it be that if you are good, if you have something, you will find a place and you will get a space for you to contribute.
“And, that is why we are talking about fighting corruption.
“Part of the handicaps of young people is money and they do not have the capital, they do not have the resources for them to pursue like others.
“So, if money is not there that alone itself is a big development, give them chance and let them participate.
Cue out audio 1 (Ribadu)
Ribadu said youth’s involvement in politics should not be seen as taking over leadership, but contributing through ideas and talents towards nation building.
He identified age limitation and paucity of funds as hindrances to young people’s active engagement in politics.
He said that although President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy on fighting money in politics was part of the fights against corruption, more should be done to move the country forward.
“No age barriers take it out, no money to hinder them because they are starting afresh, they do not have the capital.
“It is very important that they have something, God given talent, if they have dreams, if they have ideas, let it be possible for them to put it into practice and actualise it.
“And even if it means yes, they will feel that one of them will one day take a position of leadership, so be it.
“We are looking for good people; we are not concentrating on age, if you are good, you are good, whether you are a young person or an elderly person.
“As long as you have something to contribute and the people are convinced that you can, opportunity must be given to you, to be able to do that.”
The former EFCC boss described the re-election of President Buhari as apt, saying it would sustain the fight against corruption in the country.
He lauded the ongoing anti-graft war which he said was an improvement on the past, in terms of investigation of cases and putting them forward to the court system.
NAN recalls that Ribadu had in 2010 contested for the position of President of Nigeria under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
He defected in August 2014 to the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a bid to run for the Governorship election in Adamawa and later joined the All Progressive Congress.