Hardship: Face Your Challenges, Don’t Contemplate Suicide — Obasanjo Tells Youths

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged youths not to resort to committing suicide, owing to hardship, saying such an act has never been known to solve any problems.

Obasanjo, who gave the advice on Monday, also saidZimbabwe had gone through what Nigeria is currently going through and survived, hence the reason for his advice.

The former Nigerian leader made his view known while speaking at a youth leadership symposium put together by the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue in collaboration with the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, as part of activities to mark his 87th birthday.

Speaking on the theme “Opportunities for Peace: Roles of the Youths in Conflict Prevention in Africa” held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Obasanjo submitted that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Zimbabwe after the worrying 29.9% inflation figure disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest inflation report.

His words: “When the time is rough and tough, the tough must get going..no problem is new and no problem will be permanent. Committing suicide is not the end of any problem, confront it and take it to God because he could do anything. When you have a problem look at those who have had this problem before and how they overcame it

“We have this problem of galloping inflation in the country now but do we have a country with such problems recently? Yes we do, Zimbabwe had this problem recently. Shouldn’t we ask them how they did it even if our approach will be different? Even if whatever we shall be doing will be different but we can ask questions to navigate our way out.”

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The former President submitted further that instead of violence, Africa needs to embrace dialogue as a way of resolving the crisis.

He said conscious efforts to build and inculcate a culture of peace and security in the youth must be intensified so they can be ambassadors of peace, and not promoters of violence.

“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 same with us to make life pleasant for us. But when we build negative attitudes, pull him down, then there will be a problem,” the ex-President said.

He referenced biblical characters Esther, “who was able to secure her race from being exterminated,” and Joseph, “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 and destroyed our best facilities but we still came back to the roundtable to get the challenge resolved.

“Youths must develop the culture of peace, the culture of humaneness, the culture of living the way God wants us to live,” Obasanjo added.