The former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, has said that the nation can not move forward unless Nigerian youths forgive the leaders.
He said the youths are badly bruised, noting that their scares must be healed before the Nation can move forward.
Duke said the older generation who were leading the country need the forgiveness of the youths adding that the trust deficit must be bridged in a bid to regain their confidence once again to be able to forge ahead as a nation.
Speaking with journalists at his home in Calabar on Sunday, the former SPD Presidential candidate during the last elections averred that Nigerian youths have been bruised over the years and they feel cheated stressing that they must be heard.
His words: ”The youths have been badly bruised, and there scars must be well taken care of .The youths are telling us something not in words but in actions, they are speaking in their own manner because people speak differently, some speak in parables too .
“The youths have to forgive us first, because we are the ones who are managing their resources and they are telling us that our management is poor, they cannot be silenced, they must be heard.
“If there is right to life then there is right to livelihood, giving them a job or engaging them is not a privilege but a right .There is a trust deficit between the people especially the youths and the government, our democracy is 21 years already, we can’t wait to be fools at 40,” he said.
Speaking further, he said Nigeria was now in a situation where the rich cannot sleep because the poor cannot eat.
He said :”We have always warned that Nigeria was seating on a gun powder, from this moment we must be must be very sincere with the people .We must mean what we say and say what we mean .The youths feel cheated because the older generation had better opportunities at their age .
“The youths need to know that we are listening to them ,the youths should be able to hold us accountable .The engagement of the youth is pivotal Huge percentage of our youths are idle ,in fact over 80 percent of them because when you see someone carting away used toilet seat then there is a big problem.
“Television sets can be replaced, cars can be replaced, but a bruised mind is very dangerous to handle, young people are beginning to ask questions and if the youths feel your statements are empty, they will not take you serious anymore.
“If they were gainfully employed or engaged they will not come out in thier large numbers ,we must create jobs ,we must find ways for them to out money in the hands of people, because it is innate in man to survive .
“The government on its part must also be ingenious in finding solutions to these problems ,let’s assure our teeming youths that they are not alone, if China can create jobs for billions then Nigeria can also do it .
“What we experienced in Cross River for the first time is a deep seated resentment from the people who feel a certain state of hopelessness ,we must therefore ask ourselves as leaders where we got it wrong with a view to doing more, because what the youths are saying is that we have not done enough,” he said .