The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, has urged Nigerian youths to be patriotic and stop condemning Nigeria.
Ms Mohammed, also the UN Sustainable Development Group chairwoman, said this on the sidelines of a public lecture on Thursday in Abuja.
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The lecture, ‘The use of ceasefire agreements in avoiding escalation of armed conflicts,’ was organised by the law faculty of Baze University.
According to her, young Nigerians must always speak positively about the country.
“You need to go back and find out what is happening in your villages and where we were in 1960 and where we are today,” said Ms Mohammed. “I agree with you that the potential in this country has not been met, and we could have done much better with this government, with the past government, and with the government before.”
But she pointed out, “What I disagree with is people going about saying there is no hope and condemn everything about the country. So, to say nothing is happening, define what you mean by nothing.
“Mind what you say because it has impacts on people’s lives. Some people take it seriously, whether what you say is true or not.”
The UN deputy chief advised the youths to be cautious about criticising the country.
Ms Mohammed added, “It is, therefore, important to always consider the implication of what you want to say about your country is before saying them.”
She further stated that it was “imperative” for people always to know that what they say can have adverse implications.
“Instead of writing off their fatherland, young people should employ their educational skills and contribute their quota towards the growth of the country,” the UN official said.
Meanwhile, Mamman Tahir, Vice-Chancellor of Baze University, said the school organised the lecture to promote interactive learning.
“It is the type of things we want to see in our institution that distinguished it from other universities, where you have a platform for sharing ideas.
“So, we are happy that this lecture is carried out here today,” Mr Tahir said.
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