I welcome you all to the 2nd edition of this annual essay fiesta under the auspices of Amuwo Odofin local government. I will like to thank the organizers of this event first for giving us the right to host the second edition of this wonderful annual event. Secondly, for deeming it fit to engage our youths ---- the leaders of tomorrow ----- in this intellectual contest, at a time when the reading culture in our youths is fast eroding. I truly and sincerely commend your contribution towards the development of our dear nation, and the building of future generations leaders to stir the affairs of this nation.
It is my impeccable believe that this year’s event will be a remarkable improvement on the previous one.
May I unequivocally state my delight in being a part of this event, own to my conviction of the scarcity of leaders with sound oration in our present generation. Apart from a very few leaders of today, many lack that oratory magnetism to convince and carry their followers along.
Gone are the days when firebrand speeches, deep intellectual discussions and robust debates form the bedrock of politics and governance in Nigeria. This era boast of the likes of the late sage, Pa Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Pa Anthony Enahoro (CFR), and others too numerous to mention. At this point in question, these men speak and Nigeria listens.
I am sure the renaissance of these speaking leaders is the major objective of the organizers of this event.
We are aware that the import of education in the area of speaking eloquently cannot be over emphasized. To be a good speaker one must be well educated. That is why I will like to urge our students to give all they can and sacrifice enough to acquire qualitative education, because education other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men. It is the balance –wheel of the social machinery.
Considering the importance of education to our society, my administration has taken the bold step to prioritize education within the local government, amidst other competing needs.
Today we have distributed free materials and stationery that aids academic excellence which include, 220,000 exercise books, 13,830 uniforms, 1,200 G.C.E forms, 1,100 JAMB forms, construction of toilet facilities, boreholes with treatment plants, and 6kva generators to power the treatment plants in 15 primary schools in order to create a conducive environment for learning, scholarship awards to some exceptional students, renovated 2 primary schools at our coastal communities, organizing tutorial classes for resident students, and lots more.
We decided to invest heavily in education giving its significance in nation building, because as Benjamin Disraeli puts it: “ upon the education of the people of a country the fate of the country depends”.
Consequently, I want to implore participants at this year’s event take the occasion seriously, as great men of history started like this, e.g. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King (jnr), Mahatma Ghandi, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, etc.
Students are called upon to shun violence, drug abuse, and indiscriminate unprotected sex, as these three are enemies to a youth future. I urge you today to take two bold steps towards guaranteeing a wonderful future: first you must choose for your self a positive model worthy of emulation, and then secondly, discipline yourself to read widely so as to be your model tomorrow.
Distinguished ladies and gentle men, I once again welcome you all, just as my deepest appreciation goes to the organizers of this event.
Thank you and God bless.
Eko oni baje o!