It was rather a mixture of an unexpected event as some people in Ibeju-Lekki thought it would be a political rally or a melting pot for political strength and relevance amongst the different political parties in the area in view of 2019 elections. Rather it was a lecture on repositioning Ibeju-Lekki.
The Association of Ibeju-Lekki Indigines [Home and Abroad] created this platform and event to assess the political, economic and strategic position of the area and what the future holds.
The Keynote speaker, Abdullahi Olowa, a seasoned financial expert and management guru cum strategist, also hails from Ibeju-Lekki spoke on the role of youths in nation building and the importance of proper planning for the future. He said, “this age group constitute about 70 percent of African population of over 1 billion. Today, Africa is considered as the youngest continent in the world”.
He reiterated that, “the youths are the most important group for nation building .Their role is to renew, refresh and maintain the society at all times”.
“They are a good measure of the extent to which a nation can reproduce, renew, rebirth and refresh”.
Olowa gave an insight into the history of youth movement in Nigeria through the NYM in 1934, formed by the likes of H. O Davies , Dr Kofo Abayomi , Ernest Nkoli , Nnamdi Azikiwe , Chief Obafemi Awolowo . The NYM grew to become a major tool for national integration and standing for the rights of every Nigerian especially in the fight for democracy during and after the military era.
He said that even in our current political scenario towards 2019, youths should be seen leaning towards value system that promote nation building. This value system was and is still experienced in The Global Young Leadership Award by the World Economic Forum. It seeks to recognize about 200 – 300 young leaders across the globe has honoured some Notable young Nigerians such as Adewale Tinubu of OANDO , Hafsat Abiola of KIND , Debo Adeshina of Guardian Newspaper , Nwaneli Ndidi Okonkwo of Leap Africa to mention but a few.
Olowa expressed gratitude at the youths who is now late, Late Adegboyega , Late Senator Adebanjo , Alhaji Bode Oyedele , Dr. Tola Kasali , Alhaji Tunde Isiaq and many others who paved the way when they fought and got the military government to create ibeju lekki local government . Since it’s creation, it has witnessed several developmental projects. The road infrastructure opened up our corridor and today we have become the next investment haven hosting some of the largest private investments in Africa.
Abdullahi Olowa said, “amongst the various opportunities available at the fingertips of youths in Ibeju-Lekki, a critical question was if they were prepared for the task of harnessing them now & in the nearest future. He said aside the opportunities like Technology, Entrepreneurship, Human Capital Development Economic business viability [in the Free Trade Zones], is a COMPLETE paradigm shift to create a great value system.
“A shift that promotes nation building. He said it was sad and disturbing that our youths have embraced the sense of entitlements [Land and other vices] as against to entrepreneurship . We need to promote values of discipline, integrity, hard-work, knowledge seeking among our teeming youths . The current system will destroy the future of our youths and our societies . Hence , there is a need for a collective shift for our future today” he added.
Olowa believes that aside the roles of Political leadership, Community development, Peace building and conflict resolution, Become captains of our industries, Ibeju-Lekki youth home and abroad must as a necessity become part of the strategic assets on our nation, thereby playing major and strategic roles in our national life.