President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday engaged young Nigerian professionals, businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs at a youth interactive forum tagged #MeetThePresident. The event, which held at the Eko Hotel Grand Ballroom, Lagos had in attendance a carefully selected crop of young Nigerians numbering about 200. The event was organized by PVC – Participate, Vote, Connect – a group of Nigerian young professionals, Nigerian businessmen, entrepreneurs and civil society groups committed to mobilizing public action for national development and youth participation in politics.
President Jonathan used the opportunity to speak on tough policy issues from security to economy, healthcare, youth empowerment amongst others. Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi of The Beat FM, Lagos alongside Gbemileke Oscar Oyinsan of City FM Lagos anchored the session.
Speaking at the event, President Jonathan noted that the recent gains being recorded in the war against insurgency had nothing to do with the politics of electioneering but the increased capacity of our military based on acquisition of new military hardware.
Responding to a question on when his convoy will start featuring made in Nigeria cars, President Jonathan said he would be driving ‘Made in Nigeria Cars’ very soon and would have them on his convoy as a way of demonstrating confidence in the growth of automobile industry in the country under his administration.
The President promised amongst others to engage more youths in his next administration if elected, making reference to the likes of General Yakubu Gowon who became Head of State at the age of 33 and former Governor of old Rivers State, Diette-Spiff who was governor of the state in his late twenties.
President Jonathan also explained that his visits to Baga, Mubi and other North Eastern states a few days ago were not as a result of the imminent elections but because it was time to visit, noting also that as the Commander-in-Chief, he relies on intelligence reports to make such moves.
President Jonathan assured the youths that he would from time to time engage them on regular discussions that will enable him feel their pulse even after his re-election.
The second phase of the event was held at the Eko Hotel Convention Center, Lagos and had in attendance, a larger crowd of over 4,000 youths who turned up at the event to show their support for President Jonathan. This second event featured goodwill messages and musical performances by Timi Dakolo, Orezi, Nosa, Oritsefemi, Sheyi Shay, Obesere among others.