In commemoration of the 2020 celebration of the International Youth Day, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede, on Wednesday, called on youths to work with his ministry to chart a new course for the future and change the narrative in terms of youth development in the state.
He further called on youths not to be afraid of working their way up the ladder or be ashamed of little beginnings, adding that “I want to use the opportunity to encourage each and every one of us that there is nothing bad in starting small concerning any engagement that you want to do. Whatever it is going to take, however, it is going to take it, start small and grow fast, before we know it, you are going to become a story for all well-meaning youths and for generations to come to talk about.”
Fakorde made the call while addressing the media on the activities scheduled for the 2020 National Youth Week Celebration scheduled to hold between August 12 and 19 in the state in his office at the Government Secretariat in Ibadan.
According to him, the week-long programme is aimed at sensitising government, individuals and corporate bodies on the rights, obligations, interests and aspiration of the youths and to remind then youths of their roles in nation-building.
The celebration themed, ‘Youth engagement for global action’ has the express approval of the state government and is expected to bring youths from various walks of life especially those that are under the supervision National Youth Council, Oyo State chapter together to create a blueprint for the next generation of youths in nation-building.
“By the special grace of God, the ministry in conjunction with a lot of bodies, especially those that are under the supervision National Youth Council, Oyo State chapter, will work together to make sure we change the course of our engagement. There are a lot of things to be done and understand so much that we cannot do it alone and that is why we want to encourage all youth bodies, all youth groups across the state to work with us to see how we can further change the narrative.
“There are a lot of things that can be done but the truth is this, one tree does not make a forest, we need everybody to come together and let us chart a better path for the future. My final charge to all well-meaning youths especially in Oyo State is that don’t let us think less of ourselves. There is a wrong thought that a lot of youths have today and it is actually the fear of being seen starting at the bottom,” Fakorede said.
He explained further that the celebration should normally be a big one but due to the pandemic, the ministry had to limit its activities for the celebration.
“We have seen how it is important for our youths to take their place in the world. Everywhere in the world, you see the importance of the youth. All of us need to rise to the stage to be able to do what is expected of us. We need to see how we can brace ourselves up, especially youths in Oyo State and see how we can challenge the world. We need to be able to rise up and take the bull by the horn.
“I believe so much that if youths conquer their local community, we would become exportable materials all over the world and I am happy that the plans in Oyo State for our youths they are adequate to actually launch us to the next level. For Oyo State, there are a lot of projects that we have decided to embark on that will change the entire course of youth engagement in the state. I believe it is upon us once again to deliver the future and we all known the role that we youths are going to play in this,” Fakorede said.
In his goodwill message, the Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Sports, Hon Oyewumi Tobiloba, said the administration of Engr Seyi Makinde has resolved to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths in sports development, adding that youths would benefit immensely from the remodelling of Lekan Salami Sports Complex.
He added that the present administration in the state will also construct mini stadia in other zones of the state.
The event was attended by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth and Sports, Kazeem Bolarinwa, Special Assistant on Sports Oyewumi Oluwatobiloba, Chairperson, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Oyo state chapter, Mrs Bobola Agbeja and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports Development among others.