Managing Director of Royal African Young Leadership Forum, RAYLF, Bello Bala Shagari, has urged Nigerian youths to be in the forefront of campaign against poverty, illiteracy, tribalism, corruption and self hate.
He said this at the third edition of Royal African Young Leadership Forum award in Ile-Ife.
His words:”Your Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogwunsi Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife, protocols, distinguished guests, members of the press, ladies and gentlemen.
“It is yet another occasion that has brought together, well meaning young Africans, Nigerians in particular, who have made their mark and excelled in their various endeavors. This is the 3rd edition of the annual Royal African Young Leadership Forum Awards. I call it the spartan edition, and this is why.
“Just three years ago, I was here at the maiden event, selected among the 100 young awardees when I was the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria. Today’s event makes the distinguished membership of this very important forum to 300, just like the Spartans.
“These 300, are extra ordinary young Nigerians who at this point, are capable of bringing about drastic development in the Socio-economic and political sphere of Nigeria. This is because they are young, vibrant and innovative Nigerians, with mass and cult following of millions of other young Nigerians who hold them with high esteem, as a result of their contribution to their various societies and massive engagement using different and diverse platforms of communication. I can guarantee you that most of them were the backbone of the famous Endsars protests.
“These 300, can compete with any 300 young and old people, that you can put together anywhere in the world. The RAYLF 300 consists of the most influential and budding young people with the most enviable credentials. These 300, represent every part of Nigeria, every sector of the Nigerian economy, every section of the Nigeria creed, and above all, they represent not only the aspirations of young Nigerians, but the aspiration of young Africans.
“Nigeria, as the most populous country in Africa with over 200 million people, which more than 65% of the population are young people, is without doubt strategic to African Development. Therefore, when the Nigerian youths wake up from their slumber, the African youths will wake up, and when the African youths wake up, the entire continent will wake up, and there will be a major continental shake up.
“And the Royal African Young Leadership Forum intends to serve as the catalyst of waking the sleeping giant up to spark a revolutionary movement that will bring about posterity and a new beginning in Africa. An Africa that must rise against poverty, illiteracy, tribalism, corruption, self hate, and low self esteem.
“All thanks and gratitude to His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife, for bringing about this brilliant initiative of uniting the Nigerian youth under the Royal African Young Leadership Forum. As he told me, the vision is to soon bring the entire African Youth Together, to promote Pan Africanism.
“To help achieve the African Union agenda 2063. To forge the kind of Africa that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah will be proud of, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe will be proud of, Sir Tafawa Balewa will be proud of, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The Africa that Patrice Lumumba struggled and died for, and Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for, in order to realize Africa of The Future-Fostering Inclusive Prosperity for the Next Generation
“We will soon engage stakeholders across the continent, through the African Union, and the Pan African Youth Union PYU, which is the umbrella body of youth in Africa to reach out to outstanding youths across the continent. We will partner with the PYU in order to incorporate other African countries in the next edition of the RAYLF Awards through nomination and accreditation of credible and outstanding young people across the continent.
“While I congratulate the new awardees, I want to thank His Imperial Majesty once again, for his wisdom of bringing together young people, who otherwise would not have come together to synergies in building the future of Africa. To specially recognize their hard work and reward their excellence.
“I would like to thank Dr Ayobami Oyedere and his team, including Tomison and others, for putting together this event successfully. Thanks especially Dr Ayobami for his continued mentorship and leadership over the members of the forum.
Finally, I would like to welcome each an everyone of you, awardees, and indeed our very distinguished guests, for taking your time to be with us in this important gathering.”