By Victor Gotevbe
Murtala is a Special Assistant on Youth Empowerment to the Nassarawa State Governor. He believes that his consistent hard work earned him the appointment and he is all out to make a difference in empowering youths. In this interview, Murtala tells us about his appointment and how he intends to empower the young people of Nassarawa State. Excerpts:
I am the first great grandson to first late Sarkin Adogi Muhammad Adeka and grandson of Abdullahi Mohammed Adeka, the late Chiroman Adogi. I was born 37 years ago into the royal family of Mohammed Abdullahi Adeka in Adogi town, 17Km South-East of Lafia, Nasarawa State. I’m currently a PhD Student at University of Port Harcourt specializing in Rural Poverty, Land Use and Management of Natural Resources.
I began my career as a Lead Coordinator, in Centre for Education and Leadership Development CELDEV—a non- governmental organization I co-founded in Kano, Kano State Nigeria in 2004. I later decided to take an appointment as a lecturer in Federal College of Education,Technical (FCET) Bichi, Kano. When I left FCET, I served as an education advisor in the Department for International Development (DFID) of the British Government. January 2013 to March, I resumed back to Murry Greens Consult as Lead Coordinator.
My appointment as Special Assistant on Youth Empowerment
My relationship with His Excellency the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State started since early 2012 when he read my article about the role of youth in sustaining Nigerian democracy. He picked interest in the write-up and the author. Then he invited me for a chat; we met for almost for an hour together with his press secretary.
In December 2012, we met again to discuss some development issues and he suggested that I should resign from my place of my work and join his government, and by then I was with DFID as Education Advisor covering almost 9 Northern States working directly with top government officials in ministry of education to strengthen their education system. I resigned in December 2012, and the Governor invited me to serve as consultant on youth empowerment – and conducted institutional mapping and situational analysis of the state-own Youth Skills Acquisition centres. I submitted the report in April 2013, and by May 2013, he confirmed me as His Special Assistant on Youth Empowerment.
Why I was given the political office
I think my Governor is a very intelligent person and always very careful in taking decisions. Indeed, he is a man of ‘sequence’. Prior to my appointment His Excellency surprised me with a text massage sms—“ that you are nominated to join the team of Nasarawa State trainers to Singapore for training of trainers on Technical Vocational Education and Training at Institute of Technical Education Singapore. To cut the story short all these while he was preparing me for the position and not just only that also observing actions and I can say it was based on the outcome of his sequential observations that he concludes that I might be the right person for the role.
Yes, the office will make a huge impact, I recently submitted my one Strategic Plan to His Excellency and strictly I’m going to work with the plan. As part of the strategy – there is also need to leverage resources from donor partners working in the area of youth empowerment. I have concluded all the necessary arrangement to meet with World Bank lead person on Nigeria Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO); a world Bank new project they might likely work in 20 States. Hopefully, Nassarawa State will be one of the beneficiaries. Also I’m in touch with other development partners such Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). The office will soon start the process of distribution of the 200 additional Tricycle popularly know as KEKE TAAL
Young people changing the face of politics in Nigeria
All what we hear everyday is ‘youth are leaders of tomorrow but tomorrow never comes’. That is why I disagree with this assertion and I conclude that youth are the leaders of today.
In relations to changing the face of politics in Nigeria– Youth can be positive change agents if their talents, youthful and exuberant energies are properly channeled. They need to be provided with scientifically accurate and culturally sensitive information on how to ensure good governance and sustainable development for their own benefit first and for sharing with other young people and the larger society.
The participation of the youths in decision-making process cannot be viewed as a matter of negotiations or can neither be viewed as a question of agreement between parties. The youths’ participation is a right inherent to the democratic exercise of power and a duty that demands more responsibility of every young Nigerian. Youth should be encourage to contest for elective posts.
YOUNG NIGERIANS MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
IKEZI CHINEDU PRINCEWILL, LAGOS STATE
Princewill is an undergraduate of Biochemistry at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). He comes across to many as a dynami patriot and enterprising young Nigerian with a strong passion for human capital development and business development/strategy. Princewill is a creative thinker, fondly called an idea bank by his associates. He is equally a young trainer and has expertise in community development. He has several certifications from notable institutions.
He currently serves as the Strategy and Innovation Officer of Gifted International (a human capacity development organization). He is the pioneer of various leadership and entrepreneurial programmes at FUTA such as “Talents and Gifts hunt”, “Pointer to Purpose summit”, and “Brighter future and a better Nigeria” just to mention a few.
Recently, Princewill and his team at Gifted International Hosted Ignite Your passion – a leadership and entreprenuership training programme,which is a vision of Youths Passion Initiative with facilitators coming from Lagos to impact the university students. Princewill stated categorically that “the programme served as an eye opener that made the participants determined never to settle for less as the fires in their bones to succeed in every areas of their lives was ignited.”s