Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, warned Nigerian youths against allowing those who “mess up with their future” to lead them again.
Obasanjo tasked the youths to engage in activities that would change the African narrative by participating fully in all the socio-economic and political activities.
Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during the third edition of the presidential youth mentorship retreat organised by the Youth Development Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
The former president said that such participation would also guarantee a better future for the young generation as it would not allow those who are messing up their future to succeed.
Obasanjo, who spoke on the theme, “Removing Barriers against youth,” said, “in most parts of Africa, there are visible barriers and not so discernible barriers militating against the actualisation of the latent potentials of the African youth.”
The former president, who was represented by the Deputy Chief Coordinator of OOPL, Dr AyodeleAderinwale, said the biggest obstacle to effectively removing the barrier “is the attitudinal disposition and orientation of the young people.”
He challenged youths to, as a matter of strategy, never to allow another person to determine or shape their space in society.
According to him, if our youth can be desperate enough to agree to trek through the desert to get menial jobs in Europe, that energy, that spirit, that fortitude should be channelled to eradicate both physical and mental barriers.
Obasanjo said, “The villagisation of the globe has rendered geographical barriers largely irrelevant. The movement towards a knowledge economy has also meant that proper nuances eliminate barriers. In essence economic opportunities have become trans-border in nature and manifestation. There are enormous opportunities for private initiatives in the national and global economic space.
“The young people should demand vociferously that our governments must enhance enabling entrepreneurial environment for young people is also a key to unleashing a culture of entrepreneurship among the youth. As this will have a broader impact in promoting sustainable development and addressing the barriers that specifically hinder young people like yourself to be economically empowered. Such empowerment will not only improve the individual life but also affect their community positively as they will serve as an agent of wealth creation.
“In conclusion, I am challenging you as young Africans to engage in activities that would change the African narrative by participating fully in all the socio-economic and political activities that guarantee a better future for you and not allowing those who are messing up your future to succeed.”
In her welcome address, the Chairperson of YDC-OOPL, Dr Bisi Kolapo, told the youths to consistently improve on leadership skills and development in order to take their rightful positions in governance.
Kolapo also emphasised that the youths have a divine mandate to dominate, be fruitful and replenish in anywhere they find themselves.
She challenged them to be driven by “violence in their spirit in order to possess their possessions.”
The Project Manager of YDC-OOPL, Omolara Kehinde, disclosed that the 26 participants drawn from states across Nigeria were selected out of 958 applications received.
She said, “With over 958 applications, received from all across Nigeria, I am glad to call you fortunate to have been selected to represent your state.”
Fashola Faults ‘Coat Of Arms’ Display On National Flag
Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has cautioned Nigerians from inscribing the coat of arms on the national flag, saying doing so is a misuse of the national colours.
Fashola said this on Monday, during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Empowering Tomorrow: A New Vision for Nigeria, a special programme on the 63rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence celebrated annually on October 1.
“Just this afternoon, I was asked to hoist a flag of Nigeria. By the time the flag unfurled, I saw that there was a coat of arms in the middle and I whispered to my host that ‘this is not the flag of Nigeria’. Nigeria’s flag does not have a coat of arms in the middle. It is green, white, and green”, Fashola said.
The former minister also said that Nigerians should pay attention to “some of the small things that matter”, adding that national symbols are to be rendered during recognised events for the country at large.
“When I was in primary school, these were the symbolisms of those Independence Day parades, Children’s Day parades, and this was how we were taught to stand up or maintain our position whenever we heard Nigeria’s national anthem being rendered,” Fashola said.
“You sit today and you shudder in your skin what happens today, what people have been taught when the national anthem is rendered”, he added.
The former governor of Lagos also spoke out against the rendition of the national anthem “at every little event”, including when the president appears at a social event, saying it is to be sung as the symbol of the country’s sovereignty.
“I have had cause to ask people not to sing the anthem for me, either as governor or minister, because I’m not a sovereign. It’s a projection of our minds,” he said.
“These are, for me, the important things to talk about and that’s why I say this anniversary provides an opportunity for reflection and, indeed, inflection”, Fashola added.
NCDC Records 1,968 Lassa Fever Cases In 28 States
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has registered 1,068 Lassa fever infections across 112 local government areas in 28 states of the federation.
The NCDC said this yesterday, via its official website in its Lassa Fever Situation Report for Week 37 (September 11 -17, 2023).
The centre indicated that 75 percent of the cases were detected in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. It is primarily found in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.
The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with the urine or feces of infected rodents, specifically the multimammate rat.
According to the NCDC, there are currently 7,352 individuals with suspected cases and the infection has resulted in the unfortunate loss of at least 181 lives in the country.
The centre said that the case-fatality ratio of the infection stood at 16.9 percent.
“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 37, 2023, 181 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 16.9 percent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (19.1 percent).
“In total for 2023, 28 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 112 local government areas.
“Seventy-five percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi) while 25 percent were reported from 25 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.
“Of the 75 percent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 35 percent, Edo 29 percent, and Bauchi 11 percent.
“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 93 years, Median Age: 32 years).
“The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022,” it said.
It said that in 2023, Lassa fever infected 49 healthcare workers across the country.
The agency said that the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels.
It added that prevention of Lassa fever involves avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings, practising good personal hygiene and taking precautions when caring for infected individuals.
The NCDC said that early diagnosis and prompt medical care are crucial in managing the disease and preventing complications.
Army Orders Investigation Into Allegation Of Troops’ Poor Feeding
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has ordered an investigation into an allegation of poor feeding of frontline troops in the North East Theatre of Operations.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, made this known in a statement in Abuja, yesterday.
Nwachukwu said that the welfare of troops had been given premium by the present leadership of the Nigerian Army and was one of the vital pillars of the COAS Command Philosophy targeted at motivating the Force.
“The Nigerian army therefore takes these allegations very seriously and COAS has directed immediate investigation into the complaints to ascertain its veracity and unravel the circumstances,” the army spokesman said.
Nwachukwu assured the public and all army personnel that a thorough investigation would be conducted to get to the bottom of the claims.
He said the Nigerian army had always prioritised the welfare of troops, including their nutrition, adding that it has a comprehensive feeding system for troops, especially those serving at the frontline.
“We, however, acknowledge that there may be isolated incidents where lapses occur, and we are determined to squarely address them.
“An internal investigation has already been initiated to ascertain the truth behind these allegations.
“We will thoroughly examine the supply chain, the quality of food provided, and any other factors that may have contributed to this situation,” he said.
Nwachukwu stressed that the Nigerian army remained committed to transparency and accountability, and would not condone any form of negligence or misconduct.
“If any culpability is detected, it will attract appropriate disciplinary action and immediate corrective measures to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future,” he assured.
Nwachukwu called on Army personnel to report any grievances or concerns they might have regarding their feeding arrangements through the established channels for feedback, assuring that prompt action would be taken to address any legitimate complaints.
He said that the Army would continue to be resolute in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges, and would ensure that its soldiers were provided with the necessary support and care to carry out their duties effectively.
“We are committed to ensuring that our troops are well-fed, motivated, and equipped to defend our nation,” he added.
Politics3 days ago
Nigeria@63: Lawmaker Urges Patience, Says Tinubu Won’t Disappoint Nigerians
News3 days ago
Diphtheria: UNICEF To Raise Additional $3.3m To Support Nigeria
Rivers7 hours ago
Increase Intervention Fund To Rivers, Commissioner Urges FG
Niger Delta3 days ago
C’River Dedicates Gov’s Tribunal Victory To People
Oil & Energy3 days ago
Gas Hike: NALPGAM Tasks FG On Stability
News7 hours ago
IGP Team Grills Officers In N80m Extortion Scandal In Rivers
News3 days ago
US Imposes Visa Restrictions On Key Sudanese Actors
Nation3 days ago
SMEDAN Advocates Stakeholders’ Support For MSMEs