Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi have tasked young people in Nigeria to rise to the challenges of leadership as a means of evolving a Nigeria everyone would be proud of. Acting President Osinbajo and Governor Ugwuanyi who were speaking at the 30th Biennial Conference of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) of Nigeria held at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd, Enugu, on Saturday were unanimous in their belief that contrary to the popular cliché that young people are the leaders of tomorrow, the time for them to showcase themselves as leaders in now, especially given the strength of their number in Nigeria’s population demographic.
Prof Osinbajo in his speech at the conference who reminded the youths of the critical role they have to play in Nigeria’s renaissance, reminded Christian youths of a more critical responsibility of influencing the environment around them so as to engender viral attitudinal and economic change. “We often make the mistake of thinking that nation building is the role of political leaders alone. Leaders in Nigeria, both elected and appointed are less than 5,000 and according to statistics, young people constitute 60 percent of our country’spopulation today and in about two years, this statistic will be 65 percent. This means that if there is a critical segment that already hold the mantle of leadership in Nigeria, it is our young people,” He said.
He also reminded the gathering that there is no excuse for any young person to continue thinking thathe is waiting to become a leader, adding that “you are already leaders now.” Continuing, the Acting president said that “The great nations were transformed by the gospel of Christ. The industrial revolution was inspired by Christians. The coming of Christ marked the high spiral of industrial revolution in Europe and later America. There is something about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It transforms nations. It transforms people. Earlier in his address, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi called for a spiritual renaissance mong young people in Nigeria as a certain means of imbibing he culture of love and enterprise capable of sparking off significant and measurable changes in the national social and economic landscape.
Reminding the gathering of the importance of putting God ahead of every other consideration in all they are called to do, Governor Ugwuanyi demanded of young people to reflect the values of love, virtuous living and hardwork, qualities that he believes are capable of sparking transformations for positive social, moral and economic revolution in the country. He called on Nigerians to sustain a regime of prayer and goodwill towards Nigeria’s political leaders across all levels and expressed his optimism that the country was on the path of a new spiritual, political and economic revival with young people taking the lead.
Earlier in his welcome address, President of the Student Christian Movement, Rev Eric Igbalo drew the attention of Pastor Osinbajo and Governor Ugwuanyi to a new campaign launched by the Movement, which is said is targeted at national moral, political and economic renewal. Tagged “Renew our World,” the campaign, done in partnership with an international organization, TEARFUND, is designed to deliver Nigeria and the world from behavioral decadence and other forms of deviant behaviours.
Pastor Igbalo also expressed the concern of the Student Christian Movement on the incessant killings in some parts of Nigeria and called on the Acting President to use everything at the disposal of the Federal Government to secure the release of kidnapped northern Christian, Miss Leah Sharibu as well as the remaining Chibok girls that are still in the captivity of terrorist Islamic religious sect, Boko Haram.