Ambassador Akaje Ibrahim led Movement, #AkajeMyRep on Sunday, 23rd May, 2021 brought together youths from diverse socio-political backgrounds to discuss the place and future of youths within the Kwara polity. Tagged, ‘The Convergence of LikeMinds’, with the theme: “Youths; Why We Must Unite…” the event provided a platform for discussions on key issues and challenges that relate to youth emancipation and development in the State of Harmony.
Essentially, the forward-looking gathering discussed what youths can do to ensure they’re future-proofed and regarded within the scheme of things in the society. The event harmonised deep-rooted perspectives of what youth need to be aware of and what they can do within the political environment that would showcase the foresight and ingenuity of young people.
If you missed any part of the bipartisan event, or was busy with networking during the engagement and and need reminders of what happened, here are our key takeaways.
1. Youths cannot make meaningful progress without unity. For Kwara youth to be able to deploy their potentials in a productive manner, they need to have a sense of unity and work towards complementing one another. One of the discussants at the event, Nasir Abdulqadri, an entrepreneurship coach, summarized it in the following words: “Unity is the major ingredient needed for development.” The need for unity was corroborated and reemphasized by three other participants, Shuaib Fari, Albaris Salaty and Kamaldeen Dare.
2. Youth must not just anchor their readiness for leadership responsibilities on their young age. They need to display both integrity and capacity. Engineer Otukoko Olayinka, Director of Project and Empowerment, ABS Foundation, spoke specifically on this issue. He said: “Whether in the past or now, youth have always been involved in the governance of this State. While majority of these youth may have capacities, they often mess up because they do not have integrity.” The frontline PDP youth stakeholder admonished Kwara youth to guard jealously their integrity so that they could be trusted by all.
3. The need for Kwara youth to relate with one another with love and eschew any form of rivalry, either because of politics or any other reason. Social commentator and youth influencer, Ishowo Olanrewaju said the advancement of the interest of Kwara should be the basis for the interaction and engagement of the youth. Immediate past Commissioner of Finance in the State, Florence Olasumbo Oyeyemi, lend her voice to the get-together to be “for the sake of Kwara State.”
4. If youth must be the drivers of the development of the State, they must have a deliberate development plan in place and commit to following it, no matter who wins or loses in an election. This was the message of Mr. Mohammed Brimah, the Ag. General Manager of the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) at the event.
5. The need for continuous and matured engagement, and the need for Kwara youth to support one another was the centerpiece of the message of Nafiu Toyin Abdulqadri, the editor of INSIDER NG at the event. His position was backed by a social media influencer and youth advocate, AbdulGaniyu Saad who bemoaned the culture of cyber bullying among young people, advising that meaningful engagement should be the focus of Kwara youth.
6. The youths have the required media influence to support the aspirations of their peers. This was the message of S.S. Taofeeq, Chairman of Association of Kwara Online Media Practitioners, ASKOMP, who said the association is youth-driven. “We have the mandate to support youth and we have been doing so. We will continue to support youth development and those programs that are youth driven,” he said.
The convener of the gathering, Ambassador Ibrahim Akaje who set the tone for the discussions at the convergence, said he believes that no matter where the loyalty of any young person in Kwara lies, the youth “shall all match as Kwara soldiers whose last command is the ‘growth and development of Kwara State.”
His full speech at the event is reproduced below:
Permit me to declare today’s gathering opened with a popular saying “a people United can never be defeated”. It is worthy of notice that building a template where love would be seen shared and acted upon is sacrosanct at this point in time.
We can only achieve a loving and lovable society as youth if we shun all instrumental factors that divides us and forge an all-inclusive new direction where like minds with positive foresight, ideas, resounding plans and ever ready spirit of actualization like you and I converge to champion a transformational course.
AkajeMyRep movement has deemed it necessary to bring together all this great caliber of personalities to dine, wine and of course, to raise critical consciousness to the happenings within our political sphere. There is no doubt that our ideologies and thoughts differ politically but we can’t shy away from the fact that our passion for Socio-economic development of the “State of Harmony” is targeted towards same direction, indeed! “When men share same idea in their heart, nothing can isolate them”.
It is visibly clear that before we address why the youths are lagging behind in our contemporary Kwara politics, we must be able to provide a convincing answer to what “Loyalty” truly means.
If I may ask; what is loyalty? Are we loyal to our selfishness act or to a better Kwara where our unborn generations would be proud of? That requires our genuine answer.
For me, I am an incurable optimist and I strongly believe that we shall all match as Kwara Soldiers whose last command is “growth and development of Kwara State”. Together, we shall transform this state of ours to an enviable heights amongst her contemporaries within the country.
The journey to the mountain top may seems far but all that’s needed is our character towards morality, competence in our skills, courage in our struggles and consistency in our vision.
There’s power in unison of our voices and we must learn to speak with one tune that it is an understatement today to say that we are due for a generational shift.
Where is your loyalty: here or there?
More Photos from the event: