Speech Delivered By Hon. Abdulrauph Abdulsalam At The Kwara North Youth Summit

Hon. Abdulrauph Abdulsalam delivered a speech Kwara North Youth Summit, a programme organised by Kwara North Youth Stakeholders in collaboration with Kwara North Youth Coalition Tagged “SHAPING THE YOUTH CAPACITY TOWARDS A PRODUCTIVE DIRECTION”. The event held at Kwara State University main Auditorium, Malete on the 7th of July, 2018. The full text of the speech below.

On this historic day, I feel highly delighted and honored to stand before you all and deliver a speech that can contribute to building a better future for the youths of Kwara North. Permit me to register my special heartfelt appreciation to the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki for always embracing the voices of youths across the nation and doing something extraordinary to give meaning to those voices. This can be attested to, by the #NotTooYoungToRun bill which has been passed by the National Assembly under his able leadership and enacted into law by this administration.

Kwara North today has become such a complex place that the struggle for a united and prosperous future for the youths is taking a new turn and dimension. A mini-nation on its own, Kwara North should be regarded as a senatorial district where unity is strong in diversity. Every ethnic group in the district has its lineage outside the soil of Kwara North. Baruten and Kaiama people have their lineage in Benin Republic, Nupe people have theirs in Niger State and Moro people can be traced to Ilorin emirate because of their culture and traditional bond.

The word ‘youth’ may mean different thing to different individuals but in general terms, a youth is a youth and an old person is an old person. A youth in my view is someone who is smart, vibrant and energetic. The youth forms the largest number of the population in the country, with no exception to Kwara North. From Baruten to Kiaima. From Edu to Patigi. And from Patigi to Moro. The numerical strength of the youths can’t be contested. I’m proud to be one. Having underscored the dynamism and potential embedded in the youths, it is fair to say that on one hand, those potentials must be harnessed and maximized for the greatest possible good of the senatorial district and the nation by extension. On the other hand, youths must be challenged and supported to assume leadership positions at all levels so they can project their voices and make a difference where ever they are.

In every facet of life, there is need for energetic contribution for survival and relevance. Naturally Youths are the highest number of people within range that posses such energy and strength, but when Youths are not properly sensitized and adequately trained they will be on the loose and direct their energy towards destructive and unproductive vices such as; drug abuse, thuggery, hooliganism, robbery and cultism. Hence, the need to re-orientate and develop our Youths for better productivity.

It is on this premise that we have convened this Youth Summit on Harnessing the Potential of Youths in Kwara North and tagged it “Shaping The Youth Capacity Towards A Productive Direction”.

Kwara North Youth Summit is a Youth re-orientation program, aimed at promoting rapid awareness, mobilization for socio-political and economic development of Youths in the senatorial district through creation of a new mindset on sustainable development by channeling their potential to help foster development in the senatorial district.

As the theme of this summit implies, it is our aim to educate, enlighten and give a new direction to the Youths of Kwara North by employing key strategy in youth development through agriculture and entrepreneurial skills. On the other hand, we also wish to launch the Kwara North Youth Support Foundation today. This is a financial scheme aimed at assisting the less previlledged youths in the senatorial district in one area or the other of their livelihood, especially on education.

Success they say is not a citizen of any country. Poverty is not an inheritance of certain group, person or people, but a product of your mindset. The fear of not taking risk is riskier than failure itself. It is better we try now and fail than fail to try. The future is what we choose to create today through building the capacity of our youths. Nobody is born with entrepreneurial powers but we the youth can tap into the power of innovation and creativity and cause things to happen.

Some of our Youths in Kwara North are not informed on their importance to the growth of their immediate environment and the general society, that’s why they in their youthful exuberance unconsciously engage in unworthy ventures. This is why during our consultations with stakeholders, many of them agreed that this kind of initiative is long overdue in this axis of the state.

Personally, I feel highly honored and elated. As a co-convener of this life transforming gathering, the takeaway ideas, knowledge, opinions, views, experiences and information in this great summit is absolutely important and educative. I earnestly hope that we will all use this opportunity to further push for a senatorial district that is more progressive, peaceful, harmonious and productive for all humanity. I’m not unmindful of all the challenges confronting the youths in Kwara North, they’re numerous to mention. But that does not mean that all hope is lost.

The leaders and other concerned stakeholders can continue to work on the front lines of addressing these obvious and critical challenges so Kwara North could be a better place. I come from a district where opportunities are everywhere but I regret to announce that those opportunities are largely underutilized. The future of youths in Kwara North is almost in jeopardy. This can’t continue to happen. We must be resolute to affirm and respond to patriotic calls in order to define a greater future and build a district that everybody can be happy and achieve his/her dreams. This is the work that we must be seen to be doing no matter how hard. Partnership must be built across frontiers to achieve this. A stakeholder network must be created throughout the district to make these plans come to pass. We must be determined and invest our time, energy and resources to make these goals actualized. The problems of poverty, youth restiveness, lackadaisy attitudes and political upheavals in Kwara North must be confronted headlong with all of us having a role to play by complementing the effort of the government at all levels.

The closest key to unlock poverty is Entrepreneurship. Our youth can be better and self-reliance if they choose to use their skills and potential productively instead of waiting for a non-existent white collar jobs. The Youths need to properly observe their selves and check inwards to realise the potentials in them for professional training and facilitation.

This Summit is part of the efforts of the Kwara North Youth Stakeholders to consolidate on the massive Youth Empowerment of the state government and therefore open the eyes of our youths to the opportunities waiting for extraction around them.

We the young people must seize this opportunity and make our voices, efforts and life count. We must develop an incredible passion to create positive change and contribute to making Kwara North a better place. For the youths to take over in the nearest future, we must shun unhealthy practices and stick to good ethics. We must be productive and completely shun societal vices. We must support our governments and at the same time, challenge them to do what is right before the eye of the law. On this basis, they will be moved to address some of our challenges and deliver the dividends of democracy for the benefit of all and sundry.

The Vision 2030 YOUTH TAKE OVER THE WORLD is an inspiring and compelling vision. You and I have a role to play to make it realizable. All our hands must be on desk to build ourselves towards the goal. This we can do by building more leadership skills, maximizing leadership opportunities and justifying the confidence reposed in us by our senior leaders. With the capacities and potentials of the youths we have in our society today, I strongly believe that the difference would be clear when we take over and we will help move the society in a direction of hope, dignity and prosperity.

We count on the continuous support of our leaders in this regard and we promise to be true ambassadors of change nationwide. I am sincerely thankful for this opportunity. I am happy that this summit has proffers the Youth of Kwara North opportunity to project our voices. And I thank very immensely my co-convener of this summit. Our support and loyalty to the cause of Kwara North can’t be compromised.

Thank you sincerely for your attention.

Hon. Abdulrauph Abdulsalam

Legislative Assistant to the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(Organizing Chairman, Kwara North Youth Summit)

Pictures from the event: