The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, says Nigeria youths are copying the wrong model of leadership, an act, he notes, may jeopardise their future.
Amaechi made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the Future Awards Africa held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos last Saturday.
He said the youth were not ready yet to embrace a corrupt-free society because they were wrongly orientated by those who were using them for their interest.
“The problem with Nigerian youths is that they just want to take over from the elite but they are not ready to embrace change, they don’t want reform.
“They say that the roles being played by the elite are not satisfactory, but they must be ready to upset the leaders of this country through their ingenuity.
“For example, during our days of activism, we engage government over unfavourable policies and we get headlong even during the military administration.
“Now, student union presidents want a vehicle and a driver to be driving him about to attend meetings; during our time, who dares have a car, we all struggle on the street, Amaechi told NAN.
He advised youths to rise up to the fight against corruption instead of a tacit support to those that they feel were their benefactor.
“I will advise the youth to fight against corruption with all their energy instead of giving tacit support to those they think are their benefactors.
“During our time in the student union struggles, we rose against impunity and organised protests; but what happens today, the government of the day announces the money siphoned but the youth keep quiet.
“Such astronomic stolen amount government announced wouldn’t have happened during our time, all the street would have been filled with youths protesting and seeing that the culprits were punished.
“Today, we have some of our youths dancing behind the corrupt politicians for a pot of meal that will not last long thereby mortgaging their future,’’ he said.
Amaechi said that Nigerian youths should stand up to the reality of life by asking questions from leaders on how they managed the economy and the commonwealth of Nigeria.
“Nigerian youths should start asking questions from leaders, including me about what we are doing with our resources. It’s time to reject those that put us in this.
“We should all desist from pulling our country down through corruption. But unfortunately, the youth are not interested in that, all what they want is how to look good.
“Maybe they looked at me wearing designer shoes, what they will notice is that designer and how they can get it. That is not supposed to be.
“During my time as a student union leader, I had only two pairs of clothes. But now the value system is wrong and the youth are copying wrong leadership model,’’ he said.