y Olanrewaju Akojede
Lagos – Worried by leadership deficit in the country, a former First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola says youths should be constructively engaged in the quest for the attainment of national and personal goals.
“We need to build our youths and help them in their dreams, they are the ones to impact on our environment, community and country.
“We must help them to succeed because they are the ones to take over in the `nearest’ future,” she told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday on the sideline of a youth empowerment programme.
The programme with the theme:“Time Out with the Youths”, the 8th edition in the series, is organised by Fashola’s pet project — Leadership Empowerment And Resources Network (LEARN).
The event which held at Abalti Barracks of the Nigerian Army, Surulere, had in attendance more than 300 participants.
Fashola said older generation should help youths to achieve their dreams and prepare them for leadership positions and possible challenges.
She said her passion was to impact positively on youths and also help them to achieve their dreams through right guidance.
“My vision is to help the youths to discover themselves, realise their dreams and live positively. They are meant to impact the society in positive ways.
“The inspiration is also to gather youths, I love children and I call them my children because I gave birth to just two, but in my house at any given time, I have them around.
“I love to impact on their lives, I want them to succeed because that is a passion for me … willing to listen and find solutions to whatever challenges they are facing.
“The message is that we need to discover these youths and map out strategies to attain whatever dream and goals they have as there should be no vacuum in their lives,” she said.
Earlier in her remarks at the occasion, a former Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs Adebisi Sosan, advised youths to take advantage of the programme and strive to actualise their dreams.
“They should stick to what they have learnt and make use of them.
“You should make use of this golden opportunity because it is once in a lifetime. I did not have the opportunity of participating in a forum like this as youth yet I am determined to succeed.
“I grew up in Ajegunle, but that did not deter me to be what I wanted to be. So the onus rests on the youths to determine what they want to do with their lives,” she said.
NAN reports that the event featured training and sharing of experiences with the youths by older generation of successful Nigerians including popular artists like Sound Sultan, Skuki and Q-dot.