President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Daura called on Nigerian youths to “make Nigeria great again” through pursuit of knowledge, patriotism and commitment to values that promote national unity. The president said this when he received over 100 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in Daura local government area of Katsina state, in his residence.
The refrain to make Nigeria great again is similar to one popularised this season in American politics by Donald Trump, the presidential candidate of the Republican Party whose campaign slogan is: “Make America great again.” There is a school of thought which argues however that Nigeria has never even been great.
“I very much appreciate the NYSC scheme and whenever I see General Gowon, I always thank him for that,” Buhari said, while pledging commitment to the unity and prosperity of Nigeria.
Buhari said the NYSC scheme has promoted national unity and cohesion by exposing young people to the uniqueness and cultural diversity of Nigeria.
Speaking to corps members from the South Eastern states, the President said: “Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it.’’
“As a military commander, I walked from Degem, a border town between the north and the east, to the border between Cameroons and Nigeria. I walked on my foot for most of the 30 months that we fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, in which at least 2 million Nigerians were killed.
“We were made by our leaders to go and fight Biafra not because of money or oil, because oil was not critical factor then, but because of one Nigeria.
“So if leaderships at various levels failed, it was not the fault of the rest of Nigerians who have no quarrel with one another.
“So please tell your colleagues that we must be together to build this country. It is big enough for us and potentially big enough in terms of resources.
”Those who work hard will earn a respectable living. I have seen this country, I fought for this country and I will continue to work for the unity of this country,’’ the President said.