The First Lady and President of African First Ladies Peace Mission, Dame Patience Jonathan has called on Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs or as tools to commit crimes as another election year approaches.
Urging Nigerians to forgive one another and work in unity of purpose, Mrs. Jonathan charged the youths to be peace ambassadors in their homes, community, states and Nigeria and the continent as a whole.
The First Lady made this known on Saturday at the National Youth Peace Concert, which was organized by her office in conjunction with office of the Special Adviser to the President on Youth and Students Matters, at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
She said: “I want you to go out there to preach peace for me. Why are our brothers killing one another? Let us not allow outsiders to come and cause confusion for us. We need everyone to be alive to build a strong nation.
“I am really pained, I don’t know how to say enough is enough. I have prayed in my bedroom. I want God to hear and answer me. We are killing one another. Let God, Allah touch our hearts. Let us stop killing one another.
“I am deeply pained and I wish you can help me today. The youths, you are my hope. I have called on my fellow women and yet help is still not coming, the men have tried and yet no help. So, I am calling on you the youth. I want you to be alive for me. I want Nigeria to be as it was before”.
She went on: “No matter the religion we have, we pray to one God. Allah is the same as God. Everything we do, God is seeing us. Let them cease from touching schools and killing students. I want you to be my ambassadors as you leave here. Carry my message along with you. From today, don’t call me First Lady Dame Patience, call me ‘Mama Peace’.
On the 2015 general elections, she said: “I am crying and begging you, don’t be used. Election is coming, they will come to you. Why are they not using their children? Their children are in schools abroad. They don’t have money to feed you, but they have money to buy grenades for you. Please don’t take it again. I want you to stay alive for me”.
After releasing100 white doves to symbolize peace in Nigeria and the continent at the occasion, the First Lady was presented with two awards for her role in promoting peace on the continent.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Amina Sambo called on all Nigerians to continue to promote peace and love in order to overcome the various security challenges bedeviling the country.
Stressing that the occasion was timely in view of the current security challenges the country was grappling with, Mrs. Sambo urged the youths not to allow themselves to be used to destroy the future of Nigeria by anybody, but channel their energies to positive courses.
She also lamented the rate at which the country’s religious and cultural values were eroded, saying the development calls for serious concern from those who genuinely love the country.
“Let us all promote love and peace in the nation. It is time to wage peace and not war. Let us all be peace advocates …to end the threat to peace in our nation”, she stated.