President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the youth to forego street protests and participate in meaningful discussions with the government to engender comprehensive reforms that will end all forms of police brutality.
The President made the appeal in his message to the maiden National Youth Day celebration, observed on November 1st, coinciding with the African Youth Day celebration.
Represented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Bello, President Buhari said the government was looking forward to the youth’s concrete and practical ideas on nation-building.
He said his administration would not stop the youth engaging in peaceful protests, but told them to realise that protests could not last indefinitely.
President Buhari told the youth that they had a nation and a future to build, assuring that administration will always be their faithful partner in their essential and patriotic endeavours.
The President expressed opposition to the wrongful use and imposition of violent force against any innocent, law-abiding persons, particularly young people.
Describing Nigerian youths as agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development, President Buhari said his administration had established no fewer than 25 initiatives aimed at empowering the youth.
He noted that those noble initiatives, ongoing in the last five years, were aimed at placing the youth on the path of career development, entrepreneurship, skills development and direct employment.
The President said his administration had unveiled the official logo of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020 – 2023, explaining that the novel fund was dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of the youth and to provide them with a special window to access the much-needed financing, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise.
He announced that over one million applications had already been received since the Youth Investment Fund Portal went live on October 12, this year.