Speech By Dr. Godson Nnaka As Put Together By Amaka Ezeonuogu.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, invited Guests; on behalf of the Trustees, Officials and Staff of Society for Promotion of Inter-Ethnic Peace in Nigeria and Africa, aka Society for Peace, I want to welcome you to this Press Conference. We appreciate your taking the time and effort to come.
INTRODUCTION OF NEXT STARS & SUPER-STARS OF AFRICA #TerrorFreeWorld Project :
You may wish to know from the onset that Society for Peace is a non-governmental organization registered in December, 2012 under Nigerian Law by the Corporate Affairs Commission. Its primary objective among other things is to promote the cause of peace among the people and citizens of Nigeria, Africa and the world.
Today, Society for Peace wishes to inform you, Nigerians, Africa and indeed the whole world of the introduction and beginning of one of its cardinal projects, the “Next Stars & Super-Stars of Africa-Nigerian Edition, #TerrorFreeWorld Project featuring Hollywood/American Stars and their global and local counter- parts.
The Next stars & super-stars #terror free world project is a two part program initiative for African youths, starting with Nigerian Youths. It comprises of an educational workshop/seminar and talent audition. The educational seminar-workshop seeks to bring Hollywood/American Stars, Artists and Consultants to come to Africa-Nigeria and directly interface with the youths in an educational setting that impacts knowledge, skills, experiences and exposure in entertainment.
Top Government functionaries will serve as co-presenters on topics bothering on youth choices in terror free world. The objective of the workshop is to empower interested youths with the knowledge and skills needed to access and take advantage of opportunities in the global entertainment field.
The other part of the “Next Stars #TerrorFreeWorld Project is the talent audition. The talent audition is an abridged free style audition in the fields of acting, music/singing, dancing, modeling, fashion design and make-up artistry. In addition to cash and material prizes, winners in each of the six (6) categories will receive scholarships for training in the United States/ Europe, or acting, recording or modeling contract as the case may be.
The visiting Hollywood/American stars supported by their local counter-parts will be responsible for counseling interested youths and judging and selecting the winners.
The objective of the talent audition is to identify, train and promote the next African-Nigerian stars in acting, music, singing, dancing, modeling, fashion design and make-up artistry.
The educational seminar/workshop and talent audition will end with a benefit award dinner and an international music concert dedicated to promote and support a movement for a #TerrorFreeWorld. Although enrolment of participating youths for the workshop and audition begins November 30th, 2015, the event itself will hold next year for two weeks beginning March 1st through March14, 2016 in four Nigerian cities of Abuja, Lagos, Uyo and Owerri. Participation is open to all interested youths and adults in Nigeria and Africa.
We anticipate the participation of hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youths with extended audience of more than five hundred million people through live media and internet coverage within and outside Nigeria.
We are employing up to 1000 people as temporary coordinators/field canvassers in the four locations of Abuja, Lagos, Uyo and Owerri from this week on as part of starting public awareness and sensitization. Details of this project is available on the internet at www.nextstarsofafrica.cm
PURPOSE AND NEED FOR NEXT STARS & SUPER-STARS-TERROR FREE WORLD PROECT: You may ask WHY “Next Stars & Super-Stars” #TerrorFreeWorld Project now. As you may very well know, the world has been living and managing the spread of violence and terrorism for sometime now.
But never before has this scourge been more pronounced than now. Terrorism and violence has touched everyone and is spreading and becoming so rampant that pundits are speculating it will start the apocalyptic third world war.
We saw the devastation and loss of lives during 9/11 in the United States of America; numerous attacks in United Kingdom, France, Bali, India, Netherlands, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, with the attendant deaths and economic ruins.
We have also seen the devastation/catastrophe of our Nigerian experiences with Terror; thousands of lost lives, billions of naira destruction of properties and displacement of millions of citizens. Just of recent, we are witnesses to the downing of the Russian Metro jet, the massacre in Paris, the hotel siege in Bamako and suicide blasts in Yola and kano and other towns in North Eastern Nigeria.
The spread and reach of criminal violence and terrorism is hitting home in every corner of the globe. While Governments and world Leaders grapple with the challenge of finding solutions, we believe that every citizen, every organization, every business and every peace loving mind ought to join and support the effort to end terrorism and restore Peace to all.
As part of its contribution, Society for Peace designed this “Next Stars & Super-Stars #TerrorFreeWorld project as a purposeful utility vehicle to sway the minds of Nigerian and African youths away from being possible recruits for criminal gangs and terrorist organizations to the opportunities available in global entertainment in an effort to address massive youth unemployment and disillusionment occasioned by continuing economic crisis and political challenges across Nigeria and Africa.
This, in our opinion can only be achieved if these youths are engaged. And what a better way to engage them than to get them involved in the things that attract their attention most-entertainment. Some reports suggest that present economic challenges have rendered 60-70million Nigerian youths to a state of idleness, unemployment, under-employment and professional confusion.
Across Africa, the number is staggering; up to 350million by some estimates. Regardless of what we think or where we live, if these youths are left in their present state, experts believe they will become pliable and may serve as ready recruiting ground for these criminal gangs and terrorist organizations. We believe that concrete action must be taken by all and sundry, not just Government and leaders, but by everyone to avert this real possibility.
Otherwise, the swirling of the rank and file of these terror cells with disillusioned Nigerian-African youths could potentially complicate efforts of Nigerian Government and other World Leaders to solve the problem. It has the capacity to breed political catastrophe by aggravating current economic crisis as resources meant for development will continually be diverted to prosecute war on terror, leaving little or nothing for citizen welfare and development.
More importantly, it will lead to further breach of peace and is likely to make the world a more dangerous place for all of us, no matter where we are or where we live. The Program will be funded through sponsorships, grants, donations and some internally generated revenues.
ENTERTAINMENT AS UTILITY VEHICLE TO ACHIEVE PURPOSE OF NEXT STARS & SUPER-STARS #TERRORFREEWORLD PROJECT: We have chosen –Entertainment as the vehicle for engagement of the youths because it is the activity that commands most of their attention and offers the best opportunity to harness the inner talents, provide career and jobs and help them to attend fame and achieve their dreams.
Besides, where, as in here, there is infrastructural deficits and little or no industries creating jobs, the entertainment field offers the best hope. Our decision is further supported by the realization that Societies like California (the seat of Hollywood) with the fourth largest economy in the world, Las Vegas and even Macao has used entertainment to create millions of jobs and developed their economies to one of the best in the world, bringing the achievers, their experiences and skills to Nigeria and Africa is a welcome development.
Today, when nearly 50-70 million Nigerian youths are reportedly idle, unemployed or under-employed, opening global doors in entertainment is a sure way to get the youths engaged and employed thereby foreclosing that real possibility that criminal gangs and terrorist organizations will use them as ready recruitment.
Also by engaging these youths, we will be reducing all societal vices (such as crime, truancy, vandalism, robbery, cultism and violence, lethal migrations, etc.) associated with unemployment and idleness. Finally, it will minimize the risks of the emergence of new or sleeping tribal, religious or ethnic militias in whatever permutation that could potentially turn to terror as a means to prosecute their demands or grievances against the Government or other world Leaders.
CONCLUSION: The Next Stars & Super-Stars of Africa #TerrorFreeWorld Project is the first in the strategic vision of Society for Peace to promote peace across the tribal and ethnic divide in Nigeria and Africa through youth empowerment.
Ultimately, Society for Peace intends to expand on this initiative by establishing “The House of Youths” where every qualified youth and young adult will receive recreational facility, counseling, career guidance, mentoring, skills training and other services. In light of the numerous benefits of this Next Stars & Super-Stars of Africa-#TerrorFreeWorld Project.
Society for Peace therefore invites all Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments, including well -meaning individuals businesses, and organizations to support and partner with it to make it a huge success throughout Nigeria and Africa. Thank you all for coming.
BY: Dr. Godson M Nnaka
NOVEMBER 23, 2015