Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and his guest, President Alpha Conde of Guinea on Sunday donation two cows, 10 bags of rice and N250,000 to members of the National Youth Service Corps serving in Katsina State.
They made the donations when President Buhari hosted the corps members at his residence of in Daura, as part of activities to mark the Eid-el-Kabir.
Buhari in his remarks challenged corps members to live up to expectation of the founding fathers by utilising their education and privilege of visiting different parts of the country to unite Nigerians.
Receiving the youth corps members at his country home in Daura during the Eid el-Kabir Sallah celebration, alongside the President of Republic of Guinea, Prof. Alfa Conde, President Buhari said the primary focus of the NYSC is to expose graduates to the beauty and diversity of the country, and return to their states or any part of the country to share their experiences.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari urged the corps members to always emphasize the common values of peaceful co-existence, kindness and hospitality that cut across all cultures and religion in Nigeria.
The President said the entire nation depends on past and serving youth corps members to bridge the country, since they have the first-hand experience of living with different ethnic groups in various parts of the country, studying their cultures and traditions, and enjoying hospitality, which underpins every community in Nigeria.
“From Lagos, Port Harcourt and other parts of the country, you are at the end of the country. This posting will make you know this place, Daura, and you can disabuse the minds of those who are not educated about the other side of the country.
“It is only the NYSC that is merging us together and of course, the police and soldiers,” he said.
The President noted that in every meeting with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who initiated the programme in 1973 to promote unity and understanding among Nigerians, he always remembers to appreciate the ingenuity of the programme and need for continuity.
In his remarks, the President of Guinea said the diversity of Nigeria remains its greatest strength, urging the youth corps members to always see themselves first as Nigerians, before identifying with their ethnic background.
“First, you are Nigerians before you are from any other part of the country. So promote the unity of the country regardless of your tribes,” he added.
The Chief Liaison Officer of NYSC in Daura, Aliyu Abdullahi, said it was a privilege to serve in the hometown of the President, and also meet with him and the Eid el-Kabir special guest, President Conde, urging him to intensify the fight against corruption.
Abdullahi commended the President for the efforts to restore peace, security and unity in the country, assuring him of the prayers and support of the corps members.