President Mohammadu Buhari, has called on traditional rulers to support his administration to fulfil the demands put forward by the youths in the country.
The President made the call in Abuja on Thursday, during a meeting he had with a delegation of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President told the royal fathers that the voices of the youths have been heard and will be looked into, urging the traditional rulers also support.
“We have heard the loud cries of our youth and children, and we are attending to their concerns.
“To succeed in all of this, we would require your support and voice to help amplify the message. Your proximity to the people places you in a unique position to communicate and ensure that our response is targeted and impactful.”
The President described the role of traditional rulers in the society as critical, urging them not to comprise their neutrality in all decisions.
The President said his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, would lead senior government officials to various parts of the country “and directly engage with you as part of this process. He will be reporting back to me on your various perspectives.
“I want to once again thank you for the role you all have played to calm down our youth with wisdom and authority. By instilling hope and keeping the peace, you have rendered the country great service.”
Buhari while also cautioning people or groups who who may be tempted go undermine the unity of the country stressed that, strong, transparent efforts are underway to address those rogue elements of the Nigerian Police Force.
The President assured the traditional rulers that he will study their recommendations and take appropriate actions.
President Buhari had earlier drawn the attention of the eminent delegation to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on the world.
“We find ourselves in very turbulent times, with a global health pandemic that has been incredibly challenging. Economies have been crippled as the response to the pandemic has forced businesses to shut down or devise new means of transacting. For a country like ours, with a large informal economy, our citizens have been particularly hit.”
He noted, however, that his administration has “designed various schemes and taken many measures to soften the impact, despite our own revenue struggles as government,” while recognizing that “more needs to be done to cater to our fellow citizens, not just those in the urban areas but also those in rural areas.”
In his words, “I am also fully aware that our strong farming belts have been impacted by floods. While we have seen record levels of farm outputs and increased level of fertilizer utilization, government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and its agencies is working on how to help bring these farmers some relief.”
Admitting the enormity of these challenges and “our growing youth population,” the President declared:
“There is no hiding place regarding how we should address insecurity concerns, youth unemployment, job creation, boosting industrialization and preparing for a transition into a digital economy.”
In their separate remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, thanked the President for agreeing to look into the demands of the youths.