Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Friday urged Nigerian youth to take hard decisions in the 2023 general elections and put the country back in order.
Saraki made the call at a youth summit convened by former Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Bolaji Abdullahi, in Ilorin, Kwara State.
He identified lack of competent and courageous leaders as the major cause of the country’s challenges.
The ex-Senate President urged Nigerians to place character above other considerations in their choice of leaders.
He insisted that next year’s elections offer Nigerians the golden opportunity to reposition the country.
The former governor also aimed a thinly-veiled jibe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is embroiled in a controversy over his academic certificates.
Although he did not mention his ex-Lagos State counterpart’s name in the address, Saraki said: “How can people struggling because of the issue of certificates lead you well? How will people without character be good leaders?
“It’s not possible. And the problem lies in the choices of followers too. Voters make wrong decisions. When I was in the Senate, I stood for what was right. Let’s stand for competence, for what’s right, and for our country to get better.
“This time gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we are as a country. Luckily, in a few months’ time, we’ll have the chance to press the reset button. Character is significant to the leadership recruitment process.
“I appeal to the youth to be involved in 2023. Inflation is high. We are suffering because of leadership failure. We need to make hard decisions. We should take urgent steps to rescue our country.
“If we start talking about tomorrow, it’s now. The time for propaganda is gone. This is no time for lies. If we get character right, we’ll get security and economy right. I’ll advise the youth to look for three things— character, competence, and courage.”