A human right lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) has charged Nigerian youths to prepare for paradigm change in the Nigerian political space, and ready to take the mantle of leadership from the present political class, saying they must not be deceived by “selfish political gladiators “.
Falana gave the charge during an Annual International Leadership Symposium organised for Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi on Tuesday at Oduduwa Hall of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife as part of the activities to mark the monarch’s birthday.
Speaking on the theme: “Taking Nigeria and Africa to Greater Height: The Place of the Youth”, Falana urged the youths not to be deceived by the usual slogan of politicians.
Speaking as a lead speaker at the symposium, Falana blamed the political class for array of problems confronting the country saying “the leaders we have had since 1960 are the enemy of the progress of this country”.
“If politicians are telling you that you are the leaders of tomorrow, tell them you are leaders of today. Don’t be deceived by their usual slogan”.
Speaking on the worrisome state of education in Nigeria, the human right lawyer Falana called on Nigeria government to make education compulsory and free in both public primary and secondary schools throughout the federation.
“I want to appeal to traditional rulers, to compel our government to make sure that education from primary to secondary school must be made compulsory and free.
“I am appealing to youths, please follow the good example of Ooni to reclaim the lost glory of our country,” he said.
He commended Ooni for integrating different interests among the Yoruba Obas, as he implored traditional rulers to speak in favour of restructuring.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, who represented Governor Rauf Aregbesola commended the monarch for the youth empowerment and other developmental programmes he has embarked upon since he ascended the throne.
She noted that the state government has never taken development of youth with levity, assuring that the government of Osun would not relent in its youth empowerment programmes.
His imperial Majesty, Oba Ogunwusi in his remarks appreciated the organisers of the symposium, explaining that he decided to celebrate with the youths because of his love for them.
“There is no opportunity I have that I will not defend the right of the youths. I am here to celebrate you. This country belongs to the youths. “Wake up from your slumber. The future lies in your hands. Money is not everything in life. I will for the rest of my life remember the time you spent with me today”.