EKITI YOUTHS AND THE NIGERIAN NATION: AT A TIME LIKE THIS.
It is a great privilege for me to be here today as the Guest Lecturer at this august occasion, the maiden Ekiti Youth Public Lecture and Merit Award. First and foremost, let me express my sincere appreciation to the organisers for counting me worthy to share my thoughts on a topical subject such as you have chosen.
It may indeed interest you to note that I had been thinking of a forum such as this and indeed, we had planned to have a three-pronged event for this end of year, titled, FORWARD EKITI. One of the events would have been an interactive session with Ekiti Youth a forum that would have offered us an opportunity to share our views and thoughts with this growing band of Nigerians in whose hands the future of this state and country by extension lies.
However, due to some reasons beyond us, we could not consumate the plans. But I am happy that in the absence of our planned programme, the Special Assistant to the Governor and his team have succeeded in providing us a medium such as this to achieve the same objective, which obviously means two hearts beating as one. I thank you most sincerely Mr. Special Assistant for the efforts and your insistence at having me at this forum. I appreciate the fact that you are diligently discharging your duties and contributing immensely toward the development of our state whose future is intrinsically linked with the Youth, and the on-coming generation.
Many thanks to all of you who have made time out to be here too, inspite of your various engagements and social commitments , especially at this end of the year. By making out time to be here, it is obvious that you are also desirous of a future that is secured for us all. May the new year bring us prosperity in every area of our lives.
Back to the title of today, EKITI YOUTH AND THE NIGERIAN NATION, AT A TIME LIKE THIS. I must indeed say the title is very apt and appropriate, not only in terms of its contemporaneous context, but in its timing and the potential reverbration that could come from this vigorous interrogation. Let me quickly share with you some of the reasons why I believe that the title you have chosen is very apt.
Firstly, Nigeria, a country of an estimated one hundred and sixty-five million people has a youth population estimated sixty percent, depending on whom you believe (You know, we are still struggling to know how many we really are, with reliable figure difficult to come by, one of our many failures as a nation) . We are compelled to plan based on estimates). Nigeria is said to have the 8th largest youth population in the world. Prof. Cleopas Anganye puts the population of Nigerian youths at 45 million, which according to him, makes our youth population higher than the global average of 18 %. Out of this lot, we have the vibrant “Ekiti Youth''among this critical mass, estimated to be about fifty percent. A whole lot of this are potential achievers. In electoral terms, this is potentially more than a simple majority, so numerically or talking about numerical strength, the Nigerian Youth which includes Ekiti Youth has an edge to make things happen either positively or negatively in Nigeria today.
Secondly, one of the unique attributes associated with the Youth includes vision, vibrancy, strength, and fresh ideas. Again, if all these are aggregated, it also means that this strata of the society can also make things happen positively or negatively.
For ease of purpose, let me refresh your minds with the definitions of 'Youth' as expressed in the Webster's dictionary. The definiton will help us to situate properly the Ekiti Youth, indeed a part of the Nigerian Youth in the right perspective.
Youth is generally the time of life between childhood i.e ages 15-35, and adulthood(maturity). The United Nations, in fact has a lower threshold, defining youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. It is a state or quality of being young, especially associated with vigourand freshness. Perhaps, it is for this reason that the world is enamoured with youthfulness. In the words of Robert Kennedy, ''this world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity or the appetite for adventure over the life of ease''.
Some of the important identities of this period in one's life is that it is a time of a person's life when he makes choices that will affect his future. Indeed, to lend credence to this important catchment of the society, the United Nations designated August 12 of every year as International Youth Day(IYD), first marked in year 2000 to draw attention to this important demographic, estimated by another account to be about sixty-seven million in Nigeria.
Having attempted to show the critical place and position of this essential mass, one is inclined to hope that arising from this maiden event of Ekiti Youth Public Lecture and Merit Awards and my humble submission, that a new fire will be ignited in our youth, sufficiently enough to help reposition them for the task ahead which ultimately will make them the greatest beneficiary.
The topic of this maiden Ekiti Youth Public Lecture focuses on the place of the Ekiti Youth in our nation, Nigeria, especially at a time like this. In an attempt to situate the place of Ekiti Youth, it becomes imperative to take a look at the state of our nation. In fact, one might as well ask, Is there indeed a nation-Nigeria? As one of my friends would say “ na country be this” Does Nigeria act in fulfilment of the conditions of nationhood, given that life in many parts has deteriorated to the Hobbesian state of nature where life is now so short, nasty and brutish?
Without a doubt, Nigeria today has become as endangered as the youth that is the fulcrum upon which today's discourse rests. At no other time in our nation's history, is our country so challenged from all sides as it is now. In many fora, Nigeria has been described as a failed state, or as Karl Maier puts it, ''this house has fallen''. From all indications, the situation today confounds the wise and makes the fool more confused. The nation is fractured by several contending power-mongers and special interests, the citizenry is disillusioned, challenges tug precariously at the remaining tiny chords that struggle to still keep us together.
Economically, our nation's well known prospect of the sixties has given way to gloom and tending to doom. Nigeria, which was one of the richest 50 countries in the early 1970s, has retrogressed to become one of the 25 poorest countries in the world. It is an irony that Nigeria, the sixth largest exporter of oil and at the same time host the third largest number of poor people after China and India (Igbuzor, 2006).
The corruption in NIGERIA again got world class recognition by the verdict of Transparency International this year as one of the ten most corrupt nations in the world. The federal government have been busy rationalizing it as an issue of perception, yet we have reports of what fat cats are doing and have done with subsidy claims for which we have all sorts of reports from all sorts of institutions and agencies including the one set up by the Federal Government with no action taken, yet corruption is treated as a perception issue.
Politically, the headstart of our post independence status in Africa has receded and resulted in a crippled dimunitive posture for a once-reputed of giant of Africa. Year in, year out, we falter, wobble and tumble along, with steps as unsteady as that of a drunk. We are adrift like a ship that has lost its compass, just drifting along, tossed to and fro by storms and tides.
Today, except a few fat cats who profit at the expense of a system deliberately made dysfunctional, everybody agrees that our nation, after five decades of independence, has evidently lost the inviting allure of innocence of the pre and immediate post-independence years. Our nation has been violently plundered and raped by rapacious privileged few in uniform and out of uniform, leaving us drained like a virgin abused by those in whose care she was kept.
So what do we get after five decades of independence? A nation of an estimated 160 million people(statistics that is more of a guess work) being serviced by 3,000 - 4,000 megawatts of electricity as compared to an estimated 49 million South Africans being serviced by power generation of about 40,000 megawatts.
Our nation today, cannot boast of working conveyor belts or reliable air-conditioning system in any of her airports nationwide. Our teeming population cannot be assured of steady fuel supply nationwide, even as the sixth largest producer of crude oil while nations that do not have a drop of oil do not experience fuel scarcity. We spend trillions to service phantom subsidy regime, only two weeks ago 161 billion was secured to further drive the subsidy sponge, fuel marketers hold us captive by the jugular, indeed, they have become a pressure group strong enough to arm twist government to serve their parochial interests, either as individuals or group, from sharp practices , to blocking our major highways in the name of parking and negotiating the release of any of their members accused of flouting the laws of the land.
Today, our healthcare is so much in shambles, erstwhile described by the dark goggled General as consulting clinics becoming morgues, today they have become the first point in the conduct of rites of passage, our teeming population who are not privileged to embark on medical intervention in Egypt or India, at the instance of the traffic going to India, a new industry has been added to the economy of India referred to as “medical tourism” latching on the droves of Nigerians flocking that country for medical attention while “regular” Nigerians are left to the mercies of herbalists or faith healers who exploit their situations, the fat cats ensure that a new industry referred to as medical tourism thrives in other countries. No special centres for medical attention in Nigeria, little wonder that Nigerians still die on account of curable ailments, due to the dysfunctional medical system in Nigeria. Yet, our well trained professionals are the celebrated anchors of the successful medical system in so many other countries. In the United States of America alone, there is an estimated army of 22,000 medical doctors of Nigerian descent.
As if this spectacle is not gory enough, in the education sector, everything seems to have finally crumbled. Our well earned place in the early 80's has given way to the no place of today, where our youths have to go to far-flung places such as Ukraine or even our next-door neighbour, Benin Republic to be able to receive education. We now have are an army of certificates-bearing graduates who are unemployable. When the new crop of teachers are themselves not well trained, should one expect a bad tree to bear good fruits?
What do we say about insecurity? Today, many innocent people have lost their lives due no fault of theirs, but because of a failed system. Death is cheaper than ''pure water'' in Nigeria today. People can no longer worship without going through metal detectors and gun-totting security men standing by. The reason why I moved the first motion of the seventh assembly house of representatives titled “ emerging threats to internal security and the need to set up department of homeland security” to address the lacuna in our security architecture and other peculiar challenges. This is a violation of the constitution that says the primary purpose of government is to guarantee security and welfare of the people.
Do you want to talk about justice? The rule of law has has gone on holiday. The richer you are, or the more connected you are to the people in government, the easier it is for you to run foul of the law and get away with it. So much impudence and impunity going on in our country. In today's Nigeria, might is right!
Politically, until lately, the will of majority was subsumed by the might of the minority. Are we going to talk about corruption? This is the only industry that works; where the stated policy is deliberately skewed in favour of making a few rich. Production is zero and rent collection is the order of the day, in a rentier economy founded on brazen prebendialism.
This gory spectacle paints the picture of the Nigerian nation at a time like this. Shall we talk about roads? Out of the 35,000km bituminous Federal Government roads, only about 20% is motorable. Little wonder, that a journey of 1km takes 4 hours, that is if you made it to and fro alive. The roads have become death-traps, the air is no safer. In the outgoing year as an example, many innocent lives of Nigerians have been lost in thousands from Boko Haram related death to air and road crashes put together than HIV/AIDS and wars in some climes.
We can go on and on - from declining life expectancy rate to increasing infant and maternal mortality rates. All these indices are the reasons for which Nigeria is seen in some quarters as a failed state, and earned for her “The house has fallen” description.
According to the Human Development Index, a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide, which is a standard means of measuring well-being and used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, developing, or underdeveloped country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life, Nigeria falls into the low human development category. Despite her rich cultural endowment and abundant human and natural resources, Nigeria was ranked in the 142nd position out of 169 countries in the 2010 Human Development Index (HDI).
Nigeria falls into the low human development category, yet those in charge of the economy in Nigeria would rather have us hold on to the statistics which place Nigeria as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. What kind of growth is that which does not impact on people's well-being? What kind of growth is it that does not positively reflect on life expectancy, literacy and standard of living?
Year in, year out, federal budgets in trillions are passed, capital releases for infrastructural development is less than 40% and real execution alternates between 30% and 40%, in a season of anomie and a cycle of movement without motion. Our economy does not have an indication of development as evidenced by job creation as growth in the real sector, denominated by production thins out by the day, with unemployment frighteningly on the rise.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the state of our nation today. Indeed, there seems to be no reprieve, even in areas where one should expect a modicum of sanctity, that is in judiciary and faith circles. They also have their own share of corruption. When judges are not busy giving judgements depending on the nature of currency, they are disposed to temper justice by the amount involved. Little wonder today, that the courts and justice have now become tools in the hands of the highest bidder. People are now able to receive permanent injunctions to shield them from answering to crime allegations. Today, the well known long hands of the law have been shortened by different considerations. When judgements are not reversed at will depending on negotiations, obscene slap on the wrist judgements are handed out to big time criminals, while the poor and weak get slammed for next to nothing.a reminder of that folklore enclave of “ a gba lowo meri bale jontolo”
Now that we have refreshed our minds on where we are, and the state of our beloved nation the question is, can the Ekiti Youth be isolated and insulated from this rot? Can a bad tree produce good fruit? While it makes some sense to try to isolate the Ekiti youth as of primary concern, but I am afraid, we may not be able to micro-manage our situation outside of the national and global realities. The risk in doing that is that we may be running away from an endemic and systemic challenge that has capacity to consume us all, beyond the imagined safety of our immediate enclave.
Today, the estimated Nigerian youth population is a critical mass of the estimated 160 million Nigerians. Another statistic, disputed as it might be, claim that 82% of the entire Nigerian population live under $2 (approximately N400) daily. From elementary statistics, it could be deduced that 82% of this huge endangered demographic i.e. the Nigerian youth lives in abject poverty and hunger.
It is also a well known fact that 42% of the youth population are out of jobs, and 80% of this youth population do not have Secondary School Certificate. Compare this with the situation in the United Kingdom and Middle East of 16% and 21% respectively.
Now to the Ekiti Youth, the focus of this maiden public lecture, is an integral part of this gory statistic. Can we attempt to imagine the consequences of a huge army of hungry, seemingly disillusioned and sapped young Nigerians? Little wonder there is an exponential growth in violent crimes with the figures on the rise, on a daily basis.
Permit me to quickly add that there is a tangential consequential relationship between the quality of life of the youths and the larger society. By reason of their huge population, it does mean that if there is so much poverty in Nigeria, the youth will be affected more. Same it is for diseases, unemployment, road accidents, and other negative consequences of our failure as a nation. This is why we must rise up to do something quickly. As it is today, we have a time bomb in our hands. Charity they say, begins from home, and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step here in Ekiti , and this is why I agree with the title of this public lecture because of its adaptation to the Ekiti youth in relation to our country at a time like this.
But in interrogating the place of the Ekiti youth and the Nigerian nation at a time like this, we must start by considering the youth itself. Having established the fact that the youth constitute a sizeable proportion of the population, the question that then arises is this – what are the qualities of the Nigerian youth and the Ekiti youth, by extension? Are we feeling the impact of the youth? If not, why?
The youth, as we have established, is associated with vigour, energy, passion and boundless enthusiasm for life. They excel in athletic pursuits, on account of this. But what defines the youth of today? Creativity? Ingenuity? Industry? Patriotism? I am afraid, for reasons not unconnected with the state of the nation itself, the youth have hardly fared better. The get-rich-quick syndrome has taken on a life of its own. Money, not even wealth, is now worshipped. Illicit acquisition of wealth is no longer an anathema. Credit card fraud, 'yahoo-yahoo' and 419 are now perceived as legitimate pursuits, with proceeds of such crimes now being channeled into the political space to corrupt the political process. Is it a surprise that only a short while back, the land of honour – Ule Uyi, Ile Eye even played host to the corrosive influence of such brigandage that the values that defined us as a people were openly trampled upon with impunity. But as we ask what has become of us, we should also ask where were our youth, in all of these? Where were the Omoluabis? We can see how adrift our nation is – where are the youth, I ask?
Is everyone busy chasing after the easy money? Are values now so warped that nobody still has thought for those values that Ekiti was known for – integrity, courage and spirit of excellence. What has become of the great Nigerian students who once led the march against military dictators in this country? What has become of the once revered National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)? Today, there are different factions juggling for attention of the powers-that-be, collaborating rather than confronting evil. Yet if we must berth the Nigeria of our dream, the youth must be at the vanguard of the revival. For indeed, the youth are not the leaders of some far-fetched tomorrow, but legitimate partakers today, with a view to making the future what we desire it to be. That future starts now.
If Nigeria is going to change, the youth will be the change agents. And the Ekiti youth must serve as Champion change agents. This is not a statement I make lightly or flippantly. I am serious. The values that will change Nigeria are the same ones that our parents imbibed in our generation, decades back. They are the same values that define Ekiti, the ones imbibed and made the professor Osuntokuns, Alukos,bOyebodes and even John Kayode Fayemis who they are. The same old values that emphasised integrity, hard work and that of Omoluabi. There was no place for the indolent. There was no place for the rogue in our society. You did not have to be a money-bag to earn respect. The quantum of your material acquisition was not a pre-condition for the respect you will receive from all and sundry. You were more to be respected for your principles and values. It is not late in the day to rediscover these values which defined us, imbibe them and serve as torch-bearers for the change that is to come in Nigeria.
It may be important to commend the words of a global personality to us, to lay to heart as a guiding creed for the Ekiti youth, the immutable words of Mahatma Ghandi in his classification titled the world deadliest sins, one: wealth without work, two: pleasure without conscience: three: science without humanity: four: knowledge without character: five: politics without principles: six: commerce without morality: and seven :worship without sacrifice. Unfortunately the youth of today have more than anything else observed these in breaches than compliance.
Indeed, change must come. Whether we like it or not, the only thing constant in life is change. So it is up to us whether we want to be the change or wait for the change that must inevitably come, meet us hands-down. Without a doubt, the youth cannot be idle by-standers, content to be used as thugs and unprincipled foot soldiers by all manner of charlatans and power-mongers but must get actively involved in governance. Yes, politics beckons. But it is not for those who are looking in the direction of politics for easy access to money or as a means for personal aggrandisement. Nigeria, and Ekiti in particular, needs men with the heart to serve. I dare say today we have such a personality , a change agent, a personality brand for our value reorientation renaissance at Oke Bareke in person of John Kayode Fayemi.
One of the most erroneous expressions often made is that elders do not want to give way for the youth, wanting to hold on to power as long as possible. The youths largely see themselves as victims, a marginalised lot, who are constantly used, abused and shut off from the mainstream. But I beg to disagree with that viewpoint. I really do not think that the elders sat anywhere to agree to 'kill' the future of Nigeria, by destroying her youth. But for as long as the youth remain or make itself very vulnerable, by virtue of the path taken, quality of lives led, and its own aspirations, it will remain ready tools to be exploited by all comers. Indeed, power, in the words of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not served a la carte. You have to go for it. You have to go get it. You have to leave your comfort zone, as some of us have done, to go for it. “You 'gat to roll up your sleeves like the Americans would say”.
But are we really prepared to be change- Agents? If you really have the desire to be a change agent, you have to get your hands dirty, doing the hardwork, to bring about the change you want to see. The Ekiti youth cannot afford to be timid. You have to be the solution. You have to push. You have to break the bounds and lift up the banner of hope. There are no quick-fixes. The change agents Ekiti needs are not those who are only willing to be ready recruits to the highest bidders. They must be ready to invest in themselves to become employable. They must have demonstrable leadership skills and be courageous to take a stand for all that is good.
If there is a time that the services of the youth is needed, this is the moment. As the 2014 elections approaches, the youths must be prepared to consolidate on the gains so far made and the path we tread. Who is it, with interest in a better tomorrow, that will not applaud the efforts of the JKF administration in preparing the youth of Ekiti for the tomorrow of our dreams? A government that invests N3 billion in Information Communications Technology for the youths can only be doing such because of its insight into the future. Education is the utlimate leveller. Education is the key to the future, it is not yahoo yahoo. That the JKF administration takes the development and future of the youth is evident – a laptop in the hands of every student is a seed for the future that we all want to see. A future that will see Ekiti become the Bangalore of Nigeria or our own Silicon Valley.
But this dream by JKF cannot be accomplished all by himself. It will take the support of the youth, as well. It will need the involvement of a critical mass of youth who are not ready to play politics with their future but are willing to be Evangelists that will champion good causes and beam the light of knowledge in the inner recesses where ignorance still hold sway. Where are the youths who will stand up to explain to the people at the grassroots the pivotal role of biometrics as a tool of moder day governance and development? Where are the youths who will be at the forefront of the efforts at making the Teachers see that it is in their own interest and that of their students for periodic assessment to be conducted with a view to identifying needs and proferring solutions? Or can you impart the knowledge you do not have?
The Ekiti youth should not be found to be partaking in the divisive politics of 'they' and 'us'. Politics of development cannot be divisive or antagonistic. What manner of youth will be propagating a dichotomy over where Ekitis reside? What is this distinction between 'Oniles' and 'Alejos'? Where is the place for that, in this day and age, when we should be putting our first eleven forward. Ekiti state has to move speedily. No one is going to wait for us. This is not the time to be drumming the beat of home and diaspora. Whoever is fit, let him come forward. We all have a stake in the Ekiti project.
The world has changed considerably in the last decade. Globalisation has changed the game dramatically. It has brought down the curtain. It has levelled the field. We all are competing on the same stage now, irrespective of where we are. The young boy at Ire-Ekiti, with the phone in his hand, maintains instantenous contact with Vladmir in Moscow. It is a level playing field now, with more opportunities for the youth and I must quickly add, a number of challenges. The world is changing rapidly. The tomorrow that beckons is one full of promises and perils. What we will get from it will be determined by the seeds we plant today.
There is no better time for the Ekiti youth to rise up than this very moment. Even with the advent of globalisation, the world is becoming increasingly isotopic, as a stand-alone mentality creeps up on us all. The world to come soon is heavily laden and fettered with many challenges – from the climate, the economy, bad leadership, health issues, with the major battlefront set to take place in the mind. It will be no less easy. The youths that will survive and hopefully excel will be the ones who are able to identify their unique selling points, build their vision around them, channel appropriately their energy to meet the identified needs in this new world.
So as that world offers challenges, so does it offer opportunities. It will take the well prepared youth, the knowledgeable and knowledge driven youth, those well-rounded and creative ones to spot these opportunities; latch on to them, to enable them excel. The foundation being laid by JKF today is for those who will key into the vision of a pregnant tomorrow, full of promises if only we will all join hands to make the dream come true. A JKF laptop in the hands of that 15 year-old today might have set him on the path of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg(the man behind the popular Facebook)- Who knows, Facebook might have become anachronistic by then!
Now, you see, the tools are in your hands, the youth. The same laptop that some of our youths employ to commit credit card fraud and yahoo yahoo is what Mark Zuckerberg used to create Facebook. The same internet that some of us are applying to access pornography is what the smart ones are employing to interface with opportunities on the global marketplace.
The Arab spring was largely what it was as a result of youths like the ones here employing social media tools - facebook, twitter and the like to mobilise the people and bring about a much desired change in their country. They engendered a revolution. They have made history.
History beckons on our youths, the Nigerian youths, the Ekiti youths. This is your moment. Your time has come. Tomorrow is here already. There is no need to fear fear. You have the numerical strength. You have the power. Your fate is in your hands. Remove the garb of cowardice and timidity. You want jobs? Create them. The opportunities are there. Our land is arable. Our land is calling. Do we have to continue to import rice at the cost of N1 billion per day to the nation? Did we not grow Igbemo rice in this same Ekiti? Derisively called Igbemo rice then. Not anymore should that be entertained, it should be one of our flagship products that we are contributing to address the food insecurity challenge.
Where there is a need, there lies an opportunity. Let us put a stop to this ''I beg to apply syndrome''. How many jobs can the government give? INEC recently announced vacancies to be filled. For about a thousand job openings, eight hundred thousand applications were received. Some from Ph.D holders for largely entry level jobs. How do you explain that Ph.D holders were even reported to have applied to be truck drivers at Dangote cement? Really? What has become of applying the knowledge acquired to fashioning solutions in a creative way that can earn us a living? Are there services we can render and be known for?
My Brothers and Sisters, the real battle is in our minds. Confront your fears and you most likely will find out that it does not exist, you will conquer the world. You only need to think outside the box. Find a need, find a purpose, and prepare to fill it, you have a job. Archimedes said to this effect, “Give me a place to stand and I will change the world''. JKF has given our youths the place to stand. Now you must change the world.
The Americans talk about the 3Hs - Head, Hand, Heart. If you employ these three, you will discover yourself, identify your potentials and strengths, differentiate yourself along the line of your unique seling points and step out in faith. The world has no choice but pay attention, especially if you have the needed values of integrity and excellence that are increasingly in short supply.
Our nation needs men. Our prayer, in the words of Josiah Gilbert Holland is this :
GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking ...
The key to the future and the renaissance of the Nigerian project lies in the Nigerian youths; Dare I say, the Ekiti youths. What do we desire for our nation? Competent leadership at the Federal level, sound economy, moral regeneration, rule of law, a robust democracy? The power is in our hands. If the youths have the numerical strength attributed to them, then they have no reason to be grumbling, be apathetic or continue to indulge in pity party, as a victim, another marginalised, endangered specie.
The Ekiti youth must stand up and make the difference. In no distant past we earned the acronym “the state that breeds professors”, not thugs, 'yahoo-yahoo' and other social vices or miscreants. The Ekiti Youths must serve as the pivot, fulcrum, anchors and ambassadors to take the values of integrity and hardwork abroad, to transform Nigeria from what it is to what it should be.
This is the spirit and vision behind FORWARD EKITI , which I and my group have chosen and committed ourselves to engender, drive and promote, using the personality brand of John Kayode Fayemi as the receptacle of the attributes , because we believe we can reclaim our lost grounds and years , and resting on the assurances that a greater Ekiti is indeed possible , it starts with Ekiti youth.
Thank you all for your time.
God bless you. God bless Nigeria. God bless Ekiti. Ile Uyi, Ile eye.
Wishing you all and our state very prosperous new year.
Hon. Bimbo Daramola
PROGRAMME OF EVENT 1
PROGRAMME OF EVENT 2