Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Wednesday said his administration will continue to prioritise youths’ engagement and empowerment because failure to do so could hamper their growth and potentials to be at their best.
The Governor said the ENDSARS protest of 2020 was another signal for governments worldwide to listen to and properly engage young people to channel their energy to positive things, adding that his government is peopled by many young people while many of its programmes are targeted at empowering them.
AbdulRazaq spoke in Ilorin, the capital city, when he received the Founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor Williams Folounsho Kumuyi, who was on a courtesy visit to Government House.
The courtesy visit came ahead of the Deeper Life Ministry’s Youth Ego Swallow (YES) programme in Ilorin, which the respected cleric said was meant to engage and mentor young people, and make them realise their huge potentials for development.
“Indeed, the focus of this government is youth engagement. This is why we are investing heavily in the education sector to be able to capture them young,” he said.
“Although we have challenges in funding because of the dwindling resources, we still believe in human capital development which includes catering for young people and their future. After paying salaries, which is our first line charge, there is really not much left, but we are managing ourselves very well.
“We have been pushing the youth agenda and inclusion even in the coming elections in the State. Our primaries had just been concluded. We have a twenty-six-year-old person vying for the House of Assembly seat. We are also pushing the gender parity agenda by passing a bill that guarantees 35 percent employment and appointment of women, who are mostly youths, into public office, and with that we have seen a surge in the number of women and young people coming out for elective offices.
“We are indeed happy to receive you this morning in Government House. The YES programme you’ve talked about is a welcome development. It is a programme that will ignite the interest of the youths in political participation, business, community service, and all spheres of life. We need to direct our youths and make them confident in themselves to be able to achieve and know that the space is there for them to fulfil their destinies.
“We have great youth engagement here in Kwara, including at cabinet level. Just last week, also, we held a youth fair where youths showcased their talents in marketing and business. It was a successful event, which was the second one under us. And some of those who participated in the first event were able to get NAFDAC registration for their products, and they are doing well,” he added.
He appreciated the clergyman and his entourage on the visit to the State and assured them of the government’s hospitality throughout his stay, saying the government is fully in support of their YES programme.
Pastor Kumuyi, for his part, said he was in Government House to seek the support of the government for the Ministry’s YES programme that is coming up in Kwara.
“My mission is to engage the youth, not just the Christian youths or Muslim youths. I want to open the eyes of the young people and show them who they can be and what they can be, and refocus them,” he said, adding that the programme had been inspired by some of his recent engagements with young people out of Nigeria.
“If Your Excellency could come to address people as the Governor of the State, it would be appreciated. I want to carry your voice to the rest of the World, talking to them, redirect (their minds positively) and give them vision so that in our own time the young people we are handing over to will have something concrete from us and will be confident and rest after when we handed over to them that they have the stuff and stamina to carry this generation on.
“So, I invite the government to come and take part in it and encourage them. We’ve subtitled it ‘Youth Ego Swallow – YES’. We want to tell them we say yes to them, and if they say yes to us there is no limit to where they can get to,” the cleric posited.
He commended AbdulRazaq for always reaching out to the young persons and engaging them in his government.
Kumuyi said: “I really appreciate your policy and ways of handling things. Christians on one hand, and the Muslims on the other hand. I am particularly interested in your (Governor) reaching out to the young people. As we do know, you are the Governor for the grassroots and for everyone.
“We have great youth engagement here in Kwara, including at cabinet level. Just last week, also, we held a youth fair where youths showcased their talents in marketing and business. It was a successful event, which was the second one under us. And some of those who participated in the first event were able to get NAFDAC registration for their products, and they are doing well.”
The cleric was accompanied on the visit by senior ministers of his church as well as some leaders of the Christian community.
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