Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has charged young Africans to engage in activities that would change the continent’s narrative, by participating fully in all socioeconomic and political activities that would guarantee a better future.
He gave the charge in his opening remarks at a Presidential Youth Mentorship Retreat 3.0 organised by the Youth Development Centre, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library and Youth Bridge Foundation, held at the OOPL, Abeokuta, on Thursday.
The theme of the retreat is “Removing Barriers Against Youth” which has participants drawn from different parts of the country.
Obasanjo, represented by the Deputy Promoter of OOPL, Dr. Ayodele Aderinwale, admonished the youths never to allow anyone to dictate their space in society.
He submitted that the youths must not allow those that would mess up their future to succeed in any way.
He noted that situations across the continent might be gloomy and hopeless while urging them to remain focused and determined to make a change in the overall interest of the African nations.
The former president advised them to take advantage of the retreat to network among themselves and build a community of shared values.
“You must never allow another person to determine or shape your space in society because if you do so, the space they will allocate to you might simply be in the ghetto or in the bush as hewers of wood and drawers of water or as cannon fodders.
” To undergird this, it is imperative that we build a community of shared values. A networking arrangement builds around a set of positive core values. Those values will be the compass as you seek to navigate.
“Youths must also accept as their responsibility the need to act as catalysts for improving and changing the system through massive participation in all political processes including voting solidly for men and women of character, probity and integrity.
“I am challenging you as young Africans to engage in activities that would change the African narrative by participating fully in all socioeconomic and political activities that guarantee a better future for you and not allowing those who are messing up your future to succeed.”
The chairperson of the OOPL Youth Development Centre, Dr (Mrs) Bisi Kolapo, charged the participants to always have a positive mindset in achieving their goals and aspirations.
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.
“To this end, you are expected to affect your community positively with all you are able to gather from each section of the retreat.”
Engage in activities that will change African narrative, Obasanjo charges youths