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As part of his activities during the Eid-el-Kabir, President Muhammadu Buhari and his visiting Guinean counterpart, Alpha Condé, donated cash, cows and bags of rice to youth corps members posted to Katsina State for their one-year National Youth Service.
The youth corps members had visited the President at his country home, Daura, on Sunday, where he is spending the Sallah holiday with Condé.
While President Buhari donated two cows and 10 bags of rice to the corps members, in addition to cash, his Guinean guest complemented his gesture with two cows, the News Agency of Nigeria has reported.
The President also used the occasion to challenge the corps members to live up to the expectations of the founding fathers by utilising their education and privilege of visiting different parts of the country to unite Nigerians.
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Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman, quoted President Buhari in a statement in Abuja as saying that, “The primary focus of the NYSC is to expose graduates to the beauty and diversity of the country, so that they can return to their states to share their experiences.”
He urged them to always emphasise the common values of peaceful co-existence, kindness and hospitality that cut across all cultures and religions 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, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who initiated the programme in 1973 to promote unity and understanding among Nigerians, he always remembered to appreciate the ingenuity of the programme and the need for its continuity.
In his remarks, President Conde of Guinea, who celebrated the Muslim festival with Buhari, said that 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 his Eid-el Kabir special guest, President Condé.