FORMER president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, at the Oxford Union of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK), said he worked to create a next generation of Nigerians, instead of working to win the 2015 election by all means.
The former president made the statement while featuring on a question and answer forum, organised by the students of the collegiate research of the university.
The former president had, on Sunday evening, said “God willing, I would be speaking at the Oxford Union of the University of Oxford tomorrow at 5.00 p.m. on the subject of promoting youth entrepreneurship. My speech would be streamed live on this page. I invite all my followers to join me through this platform.”
Jonathan was received on arrival by the Union president, Noah Lachs and several students, and, while featuring on the questions and answers forum, said “I am excited to be in the midst of some of the world’s future leaders to discuss issues relating to youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.”
Speaking further, he said “while serving as president of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next election. I have no regrets for what I did. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will witness a population boom.
“Most violent crises in Africa can be traced to a lack of education and opportunities among its teeming youth population. Studies reveal the symbiotic relationship between youth unemployment and youth restiveness.
“As governor of Bayelsa State and later the president of Nigeria, I asked myself some critical questions.”
Raising some posers on the success and failure of people, despite living in the same condition, Dr Jonathan said “wealth is a creation of the human mind, properly prepared by education.Any nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its youths will be forced to use them to fight insecurity.”
He said “despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. They inspire us. We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria, a growth that proved the truism that a nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people.
“Under my watch, Nigeria was projected by CNN Money to be the third fastest growing economy in the world for the year 2015. Nigeria was rated as the largest economy in Africa and the 23rd in the world by the World Bank and the IMF, with a GDP above $570 billion.
“The bill banning same sex marriage in Nigeria was a passed by our country’s parliament and the president that I was could not veto it. Since passing the ban on same sex marriage, I can attest that not a single Nigerian has been discriminated against as a result of that law.
“While serving as president of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. I have no regrets for what I did. Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation, otherwise your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.”