The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Wednesday gathered Nigerian youths to celebrate and commemorate the 2020 International Youth Day.
Ooni Ogunwusi who played host to scores of Nigerian youths from all parts of the country under the aegis of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, described the youths as the country’s untapped immeasurable wealth.
Angered by the low participation of the country’s teeming youths in leadership, the Ooni lamented that the youths have misplaced their priorities and must redress it as a matter of urgent public importance.
Among other things, the Ooni condemned the prominent Big Brother 9ija reality show which he said has been misrepresenting the goodness of the Nigerian youths.
“Nigerian youths are found of accusing and abusing our leaders, stop abusing them and do your bits. Let’s wear our thinking caps and begin to act like real leaders that we are.
“In the last general election, the total number of vote cast is around 27 million while over 170 million people voted during the 2019 Big Brother 9ija reality show. This is a practical reality of who Nigerian youths are and where our priorities lies as Nigerians
“The funny side in all of these is that we still go to bed, have a good sleep and wake up with the hope to meet a Nigeria we didn’t create. Nigerians Youths! Nigerians Youths!! Nigerians Youths!!!
“Unfortunately, every time I talk about this kind of attitude, everyone just laugh and moves on. What kind of nation are we building?
“When people say this country, or what kind of country is this, they are indirectly saying these people – it is the people that make a country; so what kind of Nigerian youths are we?” The Ooni queried.
Going further, the monarch offered a suggestion for a reality show which will project the country’s values, he charged leaders of the National Youth Council of Nigeria to work out plans on the show which will be called, “The Big Nigeria Reality Show”.
“The proposed show will be structured in a way that young professionals, talented individuals and others across several field of endeavour will be showcased and helped to reach their peak. This would help the participants and also help viewers to have access to people that can be seen as role models.” The Ooni added.
Earlier in his address, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare who was represented by Dr. Mariam Abdullahi; Director of the Minister’s MSD, explained that the youths have major roles to play in the country’s development.
“The digital literacy and skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, employability and leadership initiative of the Ministry are ongoing and all geared towards the development of our youths. As government, we will keep ensuring that we equip our youths towards prosperity.” The Minister assured.
Representing Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State at the event, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Yemi Lawal, explained that the youths have a lot to learn from the elders towards reaching their goals.
“As much as we youths are important, let us be humble enough to learn from our elders because they were once like us. Humility, persistence and patience is the key and we must be upright in our dealings.” The Commissioner said.
In his address, the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr. Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo, thanked the Ooni for what he described as an unthinkable warm reception for the youths.
“Your Imperial Youthfulness as you told us to address you, we are indeed happy and proud to have you as a father and mentor. We have heard your kind words of wisdom and I want to assure you on behalf of the teeming Nigerian youths that we will put them into action.
“Fellow Nigerian youths, as we reflect on youth engagement for global action today, let us realize that a new era of opportunities and responsibilities is now upon us. Today’s youths are now being called upon to rise as practical stakeholders in governance and development. Let us rise to this challenge.” Mr. Sukubo stated.
In the same, the youths awarded Ooni Ogunwusi as the ‘Royal Father of Nigerian Youths’, in recognition and appreciation of his immeasurable commitment towards youth development in the country.
Similarly, the founder of Elizabeth Jack-Rich Aid Foundation who is equally the matron of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Jack-Rich was awarded for his roles and stance as a mentor to the Nigerian youths.
Mrs. Jack-Rich who earlier expressed the readiness of her aid foundation to sponsor the reality show proposed by the Ooni, explained that the youths must ignore all forms of distraction and negative peer pressure on their to success.
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