Kwara First Lady bags West Africa Youth Council award

... as Kwara Youth Commissioner tasks youths on responsibilities to sustain democracy

The First Lady of Kwara State, Amb Olufolake AbdulRazaq, has been honoured with an award in recognition of her selfless service as a lifeline to youths and advocate of massive youth inclusion in governance.

The award was presented by the West Africa (ECOWAS) Youth Council on the occasion of its Youth and Democracy Summit held on Saturday, 29th of January 2022 in Ilorin.

The summit, which was the maiden outing of the Council and targeted at tackling contemporary issues, reflected on the theme "Youth and Sustaining Democracy in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward" 

Receiving the award on behalf of the awardee, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Jamila Adamu Bake, appreciated the organisers of the event for honouring the First Lady with such honour, saying " the award is another record of testimony to the remarkable intervention of the First Lady to the youth constituency".  

 Bake pointed out the desires of the population as the bastion for democracy, explaining that it is the task of any society to "rebuild and revitalize itself while building its own abilities, educating and mobilizing its citizen which include youths..." 

She noted that for democracy to sustain as the most acceptable system of government, "youths need to play a centerpiece role."

The Commissioner further recognised the pivotal role of youths in the quest to preserve socio-economic and political strengths of the nation to provide an enabling atmosphere for democracy.

"It is an undisputable fact that the youth have been identified as an essential section of any country's population because of their contribution to economic, social, religious, political and even democratic development", she declared.

She disclosed that youths need to brace up and should be encouraged to take active roles that will enhance healthy democracy that will be void of vices, charging them to reject any force that wishes to deploy them as an instrument of disruption.

Bake also recommended that government at various levels should equip the youth with empowerment, education, employment opportunities and sensitisation on the significance of religious tolerance and other strategies that will aid sustainability of democracy in Nigeria.

Bake, on behalf of the First Lady, supported the project with a donation of cash.

In his speech, ECOWAS Ambassador and the Convener of Youth and Democracy Summit 2022, Ambassador Ishola Rafiu, said that the West Africa (ECOWAS) Youth Council is a region-wide network consisting of young leaders, peace builders and social activists from West African countries, whose intent is to fight vices and champion "massive youth inclusion in government".

He submitted that the sub-theme of the maiden summit was to prepare youths against the 2023 elections by defining their roles in ensuring free, fair and credible election, adding that youths are the country's reservoir of hope and optimism.

He identified poverty, ethnicity sentiment, bad governance as forces inhibiting effective participation or inclusion of youths in government.

Kafayat Folashade Olayemi,
Press Secretary,
Ministry of Youth Development.


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