Adopt Zimbabwean model to tackle inflation, Obasanjo tells FG

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised the Federal Government to adopt the Zimbabwean model to weather the current storm of galloping inflation.

He made the call at a Youth leadership symposium with the theme “Opportunities for Peace: Roles of The Youths in Conflict Prevention in Africa” held at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the state capital, as part of activities to mark his 87th birthday.

The former president, who clocked 87 on March 5 (today), urged the youths to always embrace peace over confrontation to solve problems in the continent of Africa.

He insisted that with Nigeria’s inflation rate at 29.9 per-cent, there was nothing wrong if the leadership of Nigeria could reach out to the Southern African country for a solution on how it was able to overcome the challenge.

The symposium was organised by the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue in collaboration with the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

He noted that the time is now for Africans to shun hatred and negative attitudes which leads to conflicts and violence.

“We must begin to embrace love, tolerance and see peace as not negotiable for economic growth and prosperity.

“Our youths must stand firm against conflicts in any part of the continent. They must be agents of peace rather than being lured or used as agents of destabilisation.

“We must begin to bring up our youths in the culture of peace and security. The chances are where we have a culture of love, we will have peace. The first thing to do is to inculcate in the youths, the ingredients of peace which is love and fellowship.

“Look at the attributes that God gave us to have a life of stability, life of peace, they are as I mentioned, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. All of these attributes are professed by God and He shared the same with us to make life pleasant for us. But when we build negative attitudes, pull him down, then there will be problems.

“We have youths in the Bible like Esther who was able to secure her race from being exterminated. The same thing goes for Joseph, another youth who helped to fight famine.

“The youth must be at the vanguard of pursuing peace, they must be able to persuade those who believe that gun and violence is the way out of conflicts to have a rethink, the way out is conversation and dialogue.

“We have had our issues here during the civil war, we killed ourselves mercilessly, destroyed our best facilities but we still came back to the roundtable to get the challenge resolved.

“Youths must develop a culture of peace, the culture of humanness, and the culture of living the way God wants us to live,” he said.

The former President also urged the youth never to give in to life challenges but to rather stand up to it believing that with the help of the Almighty God no mountain is insurmountable.

The Coordinator of the programme and former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof Peter Okebukola, said that the essence of the symposium is to further drive home the commitment of Chief Obasanjo who believes that African youths have pivotal roles to play in achieving peace across the continent.

Okebukola, who is the Director of Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, said “this event is a testament to the belief that it is not enough to grant young people a seat at the table; their involvement must be vital and meaningful.

“Through targeted interventions, inclusive policies, and international collaboration, we aimed to empower West Africa youths as catalysts for positive change, paving the way for a more peaceful and harmonious society.”