President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged young Nigerians to make sure they excel in all they do.
He say the youth cannot afford to fail in any endeavour because of the size of the country as well as human and other natural resources.
The Nigerian leader made the call at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he hosted a team of youth led by Senator Kabiru Gaiya, who presented a trophy for a swimming competition named after the President.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who expressed delight at the effort of the Senator towards developing sports, said Nigeria is blessed with abundant talents as well as natural resources, thus having a place of pride globally.
He urged citizens especially the youth to work hard in order to win laurels for the country.
“Our size, that’s Nigeria, our national resources and our population has put us in a very difficult position, not only in Africa but throughout the world. Everybody expects Nigeria to perform because of our quality of human and material resources. Small countries specialise in some sporting activities and they attract the attention of the entire world. So big countries like us will have to excel place them where they belong,” he said.
President Buhari, who thanked Senator Kabiru Gaiya for the gesture, went down memory lane, exhibiting some sense of humour.
The President said “I can remember I was a long distance runner. That’s all I know I was. I tried to avoid two things; football and boxing even in the military. But when I was in school I played hockey, where I held a stick; ‘if you hit me I hit you back’,” he said.
The donor of the trophy, Senator Gaiya announced that the competition would be named President Muhammadu Buhari National Youth Open water Swimming Competition.
“The completion intends to raise a pool of responsive and responsible young Nigerian swimmers, who will use swimming as a spring board to lead healthy and patriotic lives, to discover hidden talent who will represent Nigeria in international swimming competitions because this is an international Olympic event, to productively engage the youth through swimming and promote cohesive national peace, unity and security among the youth in Nigeria,” the Senator stated.
The competition will begin early next year at the popular Jabi Lake, located within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.