The Igbogbo Student’s Union On the 18th of August organised an online program for her youths tagged: The Youth As A Tool For Stimulating National Development.
First Speakers Background
Temitope Kuti hails from Igbogbo. He studied at Lagos State University, graduated from the Nigerian Law School with a First Class and holds a Master’s degree in International Trade and Investment Law (Cum Laude) from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He is currently a Doctoral candidate in the field of Intellectual Property Law.
Across, the world, we have seen how young people have brought revolutions to different areas of human existence. We have seen innovations in the field of physics, artificial intelligence, the internet, social networking, financial technologies, and so on. There is no debating the fact that young people have been central to these developments. Most of the inventions of the past two decades have come from the youth and they continue to advance the sphere of knowledge in our world. Young people are also standing at the forefront of a global quest for biodiversity conservation, climate change resistance, space studies, and so on.
The Nigerian youth cannot be left behind in all of this. First of all, we all must bear in mind that so much is happening in the world. Young people in many places are doing amazing things. There are a lot of problems facing the world and you can be the solution to one or more of those problems. The Nigerian youth must continue to ask himself/herself what his/her role is in a constantly changing world. You cannot be passive or else you will be left behind.
However, unless a youth is useful to himself/herself, he/she cannot contribute anything useful to national development. In other words, the ability to contribute to national development is dependent on a personal capacity to activate your own potentials. No person is inherently useless, but many people never fulfill the potentials that are embedded in them. For the Nigerian youth, there are numerous reasons for this. They range from bad governance, poor education, lack of useful skills to limited opportunities, systemic discrimination and the lack of employment. These challenges often cause most Nigerian youth to give excuses for their failures.
Regardless of the foregoing, it must be borne in mind that the world does not listen to excuses. The world does not honour excuse givers. As a matter of fact, everyone who succeeded in life has had to overcome one challenge or the other. Even the children of wealthy people will have to go above the comfort provided by their parents if they are to make a name for themselves. The import of this is to say that the challenges you are faced with are not a reason for you to make a mess of your life. Your obligation is to rise above the challenges. So, what options do you have? What can you do to make your own contribution to national development in the face of challenges?
- Have a vision: what do you want in life? What is driving you? What are you chasing? What change do you want to bring to the world? What problem do you want to solve in the society? If your primary idea about life is to get married and have kids, then I guess you are already on the path of living a wasted life. The primary essence of life is to make impact on those you meet – to leave something in their lives that gives them new meaning. So, what is your purpose daily? If you have no vision you are wasting away and perishing. Design your own vision and chase it. The guys who designed Facebook and Google had visions and that is why they succeeded in creating platforms that have changed the world forever.
- Acquire knowledge: knowledge is a huge asset. It is capital to anyone who knows how to deploy it. You can start by focusing on a subject and acquiring all the knowledge you can find about it. As a student, you can build expertise on a particular aspect of the course you are studying to the extent that in a few years you will be a point of reference on it. You have data on your phone so start using it for your personal development rather than merely using it to watch pornography, football highlights or play nairabet.
- Develop skills: skilled people are always in demand. No skill is useless. None. (Not even barbing or cooking) I have discovered that there are many circles you can break into just by having skills that you can deploy to solving other peoples’ problems. There are people who have gotten employments just because they could change tyres. There are others whose fashion designing skills brought them into big places. I have a friend whose ability to write excellently has turned him to a professional ghostwriter today with over 100 books ghostwritten in just four years. No skill is outrightly useless.
- Open yourself up for relationships: stop cutting people off just because you asked them for money once and they did not give you. Do not always assume that people have money but choose not to help you. The biggest help you need is not necessarily the gift of money but rather opportunities to make a difference. That a person could not help you financially last year does not mean they cannot be relevant to your life in future. The person who has had the biggest influence on my career trajectory has never given me money and I do not ever ask him for money either. Find friends who have ambition. Build relationships across cities and countries. Social media makes that possible.
- Money: recognize that money is not a limitation. You can still do so much in life without you spending your personal money. For example, you can apply for scholarships, fellowships and grants if you want to further your studies. People also use “GoFundMe” now to raise money for their visions.
- Volunteer: there are many organisations who are doing different things around you. There are those who care for the homeless, orphans, drug addicts, and so on. You can volunteer some hours in a week or month to those organisations and assist them to do their work in some way. Volunteering opens doors. In January 2019, I asked a young lady to go volunteer for unpaid internship in some law firms in Lagos. Today, she works with one of the top firms as a full associate. Volunteering sends a message that you want opportunities and that you like to be productive.
- No limitations: your life is not limited to Igbogbo or anywhere in particular. Be open to every opportunity that knocks on your door. Even if the opportunity to make a difference comes from Maiduguri or Antananarivo, Windhoek or Budapest, go for it. There are no limits. You can contribute to national development anywhere you find yourself.
- God alone: bear in mind that no man can help you unless God does. It is common to see many people turn to hanging around the homes of politicians looking for jobs, connections, and so on. Look, the easiest way to be disappointed is to put your hopes in life on politicians. You do not need them. Face your life, sharpen your skills, and network wide. Someone somewhere is looking for the skills you have. You probably know many people who have been disappointed while hoping on politicians.
Conclusion: while there are many things we can talk about, if you will adopt these eight principles, in a short time, you will be able to contribute meaningfully to nation-building. You just need to change your own life first before you can contribute anything. No nation can develop if most of its young people, who are usually the strongest group, are not adequately productive. This is because you cannot give what you do not have. Many people are just noisemakers in public space and have no substance in them. Do not be like them!
Second Speaker Background
Senator Comfort O. Olafare was born into the family of Esumade branch of Ayangade chieftancy family in IGBOGBO, IKORODU area of LAGOS STATE in the 90s. The first family to produce Erelu Abiye.
She is born and brought up in Igbogbo town in Ikorodu. She had her Primary school Education at Supreme Private School, Igbogbo-Ikorodu Lagos.
Due to her diligence and brilliancy in her primary school days, she was appointed as the Senior Prefect Girl. She later proceeded to Oriwu Model College to continue her secondary school Education where she was appointed Health Prefect in recognition of her her Neatness and orderliness, which served as example to other students.
After obtaining her senior Secondary School Certificate, she was admitted into Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo (AAPOLY), Ogun State for her National Diploma where she function in different positions. In 2014, she was elected as the President, Vision Ten, Ogun State Chapter, which she held till 2016; She was also the Vice President Association of Communication Students, (ASCOM AAPOLY) in 2015
Apart from politics and Academic pursuit, COMFORT is also a lover of things of God which made her devote her time to God’s work. While at AAPOLY, she was made the Coordinator of Christian Union Fellowship (Mini Campus), AAPOLY, in 2015.
In line with her commitment, She was appointed the Editor of Egret Magazine( an annual publication of Igbogbo Students Union) in the 2015/2016 administrative year.
In 2017, she served as the Secretary Igbogbo Students’ Union where she as well emerge as an Ambassador in the Lagos State Ambassadorial Team.
To further her education, COMFORT proceeded into the prestigious Lagos State University (LASU) to study Mass Communication. She is also serving as an Honorable member of LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT PARLIAMENTARY COUNCIL (30TH LASUSU SPC).
While she was still a 200 level student at LASU, she was elected as the First Female President of Igbogbo Students’ Union. I’m recognition of her immense contributions towards youth development and leadership, OLAFARE COMFORT was awarded by Amazing Recognition Award as the “Most Promising Youth for Leadership in Ikorodu.”
Comfort popularly called ADUNNI is a committed youth advocate and a motivational speaker wo have been invited to speak on different topics both within and outside Nigeria.
She started an initiative, Save A Girl Initiative, an NGO with the aim of protecting the right of the girl child. The initiative which she serves as the Executive Director has carried out several community projects.
She is a lover of growth and highly passionate about impacting the world through her prowess.
In 2019, OLAFARE COMFORT proceeded to represent Lagos West Senatorial District at the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP) where she was appointed as the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee.
Interestingly, as an Entrepreneur, she is the CEO of ADUNNI CAKES.
COMFORT has also been appointed as Chairman, Installation Committee, Rotaract Club of Ikorodu Golden due to her leadership trait and Charisma.
She was also elected as the Assistant General Secretary, Rotaract Club of Ikorodu Golden an humanitarian service club which aim is to put smiles on faces of many.
She didn’t stop at that, she also went ahead to contest for the position of Assistant General Secretary, Igbogbo Youth Coalition, a community-based association where she emerged winner.
COMFORT is a goal-getter and a lover of humanity, she was elected as the Director of Projects and Community Services of the Ikorodu Division Youth Initiative Movement.
She was a Member of the 2020 Electoral Committee for National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN)Lagos State Chapter, Electoral.
Currently, she is the General Secretary, National Volunteer Group on Covid-19, Ikorodu Local Government, the Secretary for Southwest Caucus of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, to mention but a few.
She is a pace-setter, path finder, a peace promoter, media consultant and an intellectual enigma whose aim is basically to help make the world a better place to live in.
In Nigeria, no doubt the youths cover an ample percentage of the population, however this doesn’t reflect in the share of youths in strategic positions of influence especially in governance. Hence, I will see tonight’s event as an avenue for us to wake ourselves up from our slumbers and take responsibilities.
An average Nigerian youth is quite lazy to take the bull by the horn and lead a course for change and this is a very disturbing situation. The affairs of our nations and the global space is our responsibility to take, we cannot continue complaining about the situation of things when we ourselves do not take the initiative to influence change knowing fully well that Youths are a major tool for stimulating national development.
There is a popular cliché attached to one of the most influential leaders of our nation in person of Sen. Bola Tinubu; he is known to always say that “power is not served a la carte” which implies that you will not sit down and expect power to be brought to you, you will have to stand up and grab it.
When I talk of power, you will agree with me that in order for you to pull a lot of strings in the development of our nation, it is imperative for you to be strategically placed in a position where you’ll be able to influence a lot of policies and changes. This is not to say that we cannot serve as agents of change without holding political offices, in fact we can drive and influence huge changes at every sector of the society regardless, all we just need is the deliberate and conscious effort to do so.
It is quite commendable that the Nigerian youths are already achieving giant strides and making monumental impacts to influence positive change both locally, nationally and even globally. However, there is need for us to step up our games on that as we are very much aware that the older generation in power are not doing enough in driving these changes.
For us to serve as tools for stimulating national development, we necessarily do not have to start at the national level but we can start by influencing our immediate community, by pushing for positive developmental changes.
Leadership is all about taking responsibilities to achieve a course and if as youths we can take such responsibilities then we are leaders, it is no longer a topic of youths are the leaders of tomorrow, that statement is a fallacy as youths are already taking leadership positions now, the truth is the older generation aren’t ready to leave power except we take it. We can almost always not know what the outcome of something will be if we don’t make the move, hence I will implore us to start taking actions and mobilizing others to take actions towards the national and positive change we all desire.
In order to serve as tools for stimulating national development, there is an urgent need for us to respond to challenges and ensure transformative change by taking action hence the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action” is timely and crucial to the narrative we’ve found ourselves.
It is quite appalling that government of the day has decided to neglect some of their responsibilities thereby leaving the people to suffer the brunt of such inactions. Nonetheless, we can only stop complaining and start taking actions on our own and by ourselves for ourselves.
Last month, I attended a webinar series organized by the communication students’ representation council of Lagos state university and my amiable Youth advocate Hon. Fashina was one of the speakers for that event, in his delivery, he mentioned that a lot of us are angry at the situation of our country, but the question is what are we doing with our anger?
This was a question that stroke a cord in my mind and I began to reflect on this statement. This reminded me of a community Otto-Awori LCDA where they were having the problem of bad roads and drainage system, after several letters and complaints written to the local government for intervention proved abortive, the youths in that community then decided to take action to fix the problem bedeviling their community as it relates to drainage. They mobilized themselves to clean the drainage and fix the problem of flood and dirt heaping in the community. The story of this community was published on a number of news platforms thereafter. Perhaps if they hadn’t taken this action, the government wouldn’t still have responded to them and they’d still be faced with the problems and even more.
For us to see the positive change we desire unfold and remain a tool for stimulating national development, there is a need for us to engage and act now while strategically positioning ourselves as instruments for national development by actively engaging in activities geared towards national development.
According to Marie Ebner-Eschenbach, “ there is only one proof of ability-action” hence, we need to proof we’re ready and show we are ready for engaging at all levels by taking actions. We need to see ourselves as positive instruments so our leaders can as well see us as an important tool for stimulating national development.
Barr. Tope KUTI mentioned numerous things to do to make one’s contribution to national development in the face of challenges, I will like to highlight few things not to engage in being a tool for stimulating national development;
- Let’s not engage in competition but collaboration.
If we come together to collaborate as one since we share same vision, we will achieve more as a people and be a major tool for stimulating national development
But what do we see around now?
We see more of unhealthy competition to collaboration, so as youth, I’ll implore us all to support each other and collaborate where necessary.Let’s disengage from negative mindset. In other words, thinking right because any youth that cannot think right can not engage right or be upright to being a tool for stimulating national development
2. Disengaging from vision killing habits or traits. This further explains that it is expedient to cultivate some habits like discipline, bravery, et al in order to be that tool needed for national development.
3. Not demanding for more: As a youth who is fully aware that everyone is important to stimulating national development but that the youth are more importanter must learn to demand for more in and from life because life will never give you what you want but that which you demand.
Conclusively, Evolving one’s self around change dreamers and chasers is important to youth being a tool for stimulating national development because when you’re surrounded with these set of people, they’ll not only remind one of the need to be ripe for national development, they’ll aswell help to inspire for greatness.
Imagine having an entrepreneur around you same as a participant in development actions who’s exposed and not intimated by greatness but inspired for greatness, is no doubt that youth will not only be seen as a tool for stimulating national development, youth will see herself as a tool for stimulating national development.
It is on this note that I’ll implore us all to take the bull by the horn, be purpose driven, seek knowledge because knowledge is power and is a basic tool for any country or individual development, acquire and develop your skill(s), know what you are capable of doing and what you can learn to do on your own with passion, interact, collaborate and expose yourself within and outside your jurisdiction.
The truth is that two is better than one and that is why we must always remember that towards becoming a tool for stimulating national development, we must learn to build and keep relationship.
ABOVE ALL, LET’S ALWAYS REMIND OURSELVES THAT WE ARE A VALUE THAT CANNOT BE RUBBISHED Because when you have a good thought about yourself, you will work towards keeping that standard of yours high.
BUILD YOUR VALUE.