By Faith Olaniran
The saying that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow has always been the sermon preached by the older generation for a very long time now, the question is, are these same youths availed the opportunity to assume the responsibility of being the leaders of this present day era?
In a bid to proffer solutions to the problems being faced by Nigeria today, I-CREATE INITIATIVE dimmed it best to organise her first National Youth Summit in Minna, Niger state Nigeria on the 1st of October 2012 in commemoration of Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary. It held at the Ahmadu Bahago Secondary School Hall where more than forty (40) participants graced the occasion. The participants were from the Federal University of Technology Minna, College of Education Minna, and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai; youth corps members and secondary school students in Minna also graced the occasion.
I-CREATE INITIATIVE is a passionate creative hub poised at life changing interested group of youths driven by social responsibility, the club work as a group in reaching out to young people from various background, nationalities and profession to standout with the right message and effect positive changes in the community despite the present day prevailing moral, economic and social challenges.
Speaking with the founder of the I-Create Initiative, Campus life writer Faith Olaniran, he described the club as that which is out to set the pace in the development of a society of dynamic people, especially the young people focusing on how potentials and creativity poise can be enacted in Niger state. He also added that the club is saddled with the responsibility of building the youths of Niger state to be faithful and creativity driven.
The summit entailed lecture series, musical breaks, and an interactive session. The audience applauded when the keynote speaker was called up to the podium to give his address, Engr Olamide Adeoye said the word nation building in the past was mainly used by nations that has just been granted sovereignty, during these era these nations venture into changing their national anthem, national flags and most importantly a total shift from the colonial system of government to an indigenous system of government. The speaker added that nation building has gone far beyond that which political independent states believed it to be in the past, he stated that the youths themselves are the nation that needs to be built, the youths he said needs to imbibe ideal and correct ideologies that will help them prepare for the future instead of waiting for our leaders to prepare the future for them.
Engr Olamide articulated that vibrancy in youths should be well channeled to foster development in any nation, he also stressed the fact that all revolutions in the world was initiated by youth, of the truth Martin Luther king Jnr was a youth when he started a revolution in the United States of America that up till date the African Americans will never forget. He charged the youths to be more open to change; they should be future oriented, courageous, idealistic and innovative. Indeed he stirred up the waters of their spirit as he challenged the participants to be agents of positive change in their immediate community.
The interactive session was facilitated by prominent Nigerians and youth leaders, among the facilitators are Mr. Jide Orintunsin of the Nation Newspaper, Miss. Faith Aminu and Pastor Emmanuel Ohere of the Transformation Chapel Minna.
In a chat with one of the participants Pius Perfect 300L FUT Minna he said, I learnt a lot today, and I must also say that the statement the keynote speaker made during his address caught my fancy: ‘do not prepare the future for your youths rather prepare your youths for the future’, this will always be my watchword, he said. Perfect also thanked the organizers of the programme and wished similar events take place often.
Kevin Chukwuyem, a youth corper, also stressed the need for unity in Nigeria before the issue of development can be totally addressed, he stated that youths are the stock of a nation’s potentials and charged his colleagues to discourage any form of ethnic and religious differences as this would be help in building the nation.
Pastor Emmanuel Ohere pleaded with the participants not to follow the footsteps their fathers had left, a Nigeria where regardless of religion, background and tribe as a citizen of Nigeria you can vote and be voted for, gain employment in any state without regards to state of origin and place of birth, to me this is Nation building he verbalized.
And just like a flash the much awaited youth summit came to a close, Faith Olaniran was called up to the podium to give the closing remarks, he thanked all the invited guest present, the artists who performed at the event as well as the participants. In his closing remarks he charged the audience to always in their own little way contribute their own quota in the journey of building our country Nigeria.