The Government of Ekiti State hosted over a hundred Nigerian youths at The Ikogosi Resort, Ekiti between April 5 and 7, for the 2nd edition of The Future Awards Symposium. There were sessions with leaders such as Gov. Kayode Fayemi, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi and Gov. Uduaghan (who was represented). The minister of finance, Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also addressed the youths in a dedicated session that took place on the final day. Other distinguished panelists such as Kola Oyeneyin, Gbenga Sesan, Japhet Omojuwa, Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Oke Okechukwu made the forum very interactive and interested. Ebuka Obi-Uchendu anchored. 360nobs’ Segun Adekoye took notes. Here are some words to remember from the sessions.
Not having the right people has its disadvantages. One of which is not having a strategy to lead a nation post 1999.The challenge of the last 15 years is the challenge of imagination to raise the people and find solutions to their problems.
Dr. Oke Okechukwu:
The future is in trouble. The youth of now are not in touch with the paradigms of tomorrow. We should go beyond tweeting. The generation is good enough. They need to channel their knowledge.
We are not young. Some people have made youth a career. The youths have extremely low expectations. The youths should ask questions. A lot of people should move their anger from the virtual world to the ground. Improve the quality of your conversation. Get your facts right. We are a generation of cowards. We don’t speak the truth to our leaders.
People at 35 should be aspiring to be presidents and not SA to anyone. The quality has been bastardized. People take the rein of leadership for subsistence. Attack the issues and not the person. What is lacking is the ability for you to put your life on the line.
Japheth Omojuwa: (responds to Ajayi Olowu).
You have to address the issues and the person.
We are sitting on a ticking time bomb. You have the haves, have-some, have-nots and the take-all. The future of Nigeria depends on the politics of Nigeria. We can’t keep talking. We must infiltrate systems ad attack them. If you don’t bring intellectual power and financial power to the table, we would lose it in 2105.
Our generation failed. We were in error not moving-in in 1999. Every generation must discover its mission and should either fulfill it or betray it.
Dr. Oke Okechukwu: (In response to “Do we need a revolution in Nigeria”)
Seizure, consolidation and use are the instruments of revolution. You can’t empower an entity that you don’t know.We need a revolution in our private lives. We don’t have a platform for a revolution. We must separate history from hysteria.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi:
We agonize. We do not organize.
Gov. Rotimi Amaechi:
It is about the system. The youths are interested in reforms not revolution. If you don’t provide legitimate means of livelihood for Nigerians. They will find illegitimate means for livelihood.
A lot of people have no idea about why they are angry.You cannot change government from outside. If you don’t get involved, you would be fighting from outside for a long time.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala:
Moral values start with you. Building the nation starts with you. When identifying corruption, find the areas where large sums of money disappear. Developing countries have built systems to help reduce the rates of corruption and this helps to create a bridge between people ad resources.
You can make a change at an individual level.
The only way to change society and change government is to change yourself