Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has urged successful entrepreneurs, scholars, opinion moulders and other key stakeholders to offer support and mentorship to young people with a view to raising a new generation of great leaders.
“The future of our society rests on the quality of young people we are able to raise. I therefore beseech all of us to offer mentorship and whatever support we can mobilise to raise a new generation of great leaders. This is in realisation of the fact that the brighter the future of these young people, the brighter the future of Nigeria,” AbdulRazaq said at the Peace and Youths Development Summit/TheWriteUp 2021 Grand Finale held at Kwara State University Malete.
The event, organised on Wednesday by the Torchbearers Impact Network, coincided with the commemoration of the International Youths Day.
Represented by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, the Governor said his administration is biased in favour of raising quality Kwara youths who would stand shoulder to shoulder with their contemporaries worldwide. He said this begins with offering quality basic education to give the Kwara child a fair opportunity to compete.
“Our administration is leading the charge in this regard. We have not only recently given interest-free loan to young people to run their own businesses and be successful at it, we also provided them with mentorship from solid backgrounds,” he said.
“Our huge investments in the innovation hub are targeted at giving new skills to young people. Our target is to make Kwara the go-to place for young techies, innovators, and solution providers. When it is completed, it will be the largest of such facility anywhere in Nigeria.
The governor also congratulated the young people on the International Youth Day which coincides with the event and appealed to the youths to reflect on the present and the future and then make the best decisions for posterity.
“I believe strongly that the way to manage youth bulge and engender peace in our society is to create an atmosphere for young people to thrive. This is what we are trying to do in our state. From agriculture to innovation, sports and creative industry, we are steadily creating a veritable market for our young people to hone their skills, sell their ideas, and lead a fulfilling life,” he added.
“I believe that this contest, which is titled TheWriteUp, will help to motivate our young people to further hone their literary skills. I believe that initiatives like this should be encouraged. I congratulate the winners and everyone who has participated in the contest. I must also commend the panel of judges for their good job. I hope to see many of you winners going ahead to win big literary prizes like the Nigerian Prize for Literarure, the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and so on. You can do it! The only obstacle to you not winning is you not giving it a try.”
AbdulRazaq also commended the management and the entire KWASU community for providing the right environment for such initiative.
Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly Engr Yakubu Danladi Salihu charged the youths to harness their energies efficiently and positively to contribute to the development of the country by assuming leadership positions in all aspects of human endeavours.
“What we are witnessing now is a generational change. Youths have both positive and negative impacts on this country. But I believe youths are positively contributing to the development of this country in different fields. Youth should use their numerical strength to take up leadership positions, think positively and proffer solutions to current challenges facing the country,” Speaker said.
The State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Barrister Senior Ibrahim urged Nigerian youths to shun violence, cultism, banditry and kidnapping and other forms of societal ills to enable them realise their full potentials in life.
KWASU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mustapha Akanbi (SAN) commended TIN for providing a platform for promoting arts and literature at a time that the art of writing has been bastardised by the advent of social media.
He called for more of such initiatives.
A 500-level law student of Adekunle Ajasin University (Ondo State) Miss Oluwadamilola Akintewe emerged the winner of the contest and went home with N200,000. The first runnner-up, who got N100,000, is Enobong Enobong of University of Lagos; while Oyewopo Ibrahim of the Federal University of Technology Minna emerged third and got the sum of N50,000.
Founder of the Torchbearers Impact Network Ibraheem Abdullateef said they set out to encourage young people to aspire to be the best they could, asserting that capacity building and skills acquisitions will open the doors of opportunities.
“What we set to achieve is to let youths know that it is time to prioritise academic excellence. Now, we have been able to identify young people across the nation who have passion and talents for writing and we will mobilise resources and support them in whatever way we can,” Abdullateef said.
“I also want to pass a message across that everyone out there is a torchbearer. You don’t need to be a member of Torchbearers Impact Network before they can be torch bearers themselves. As young people, we need to have it in mind that we are representing our communities, our schools, our states and the country wherever we are and we must try to make impact. On behalf of our team, I thank the Governor of Kwara State Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Chief Gbenga Olawepo Hashim, KWASU authorities, The Hook Creative Agency, all the facilitators and everyone who has contributed to make this programme a success. We are truly grateful.”