The purpose of the National Youth Corp Service Scheme which came to be after the Nigerian Civil War was amongst the other things to primarily inculcate in the Nigerian Youth the spirit of selfless service to the community and to emphasize the spirit of oneness and brotherhood to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, cultural, religious or social background.
The National Youth Service Corp was founded on May 2nd, 1973. This means that the scheme which you are a participant today is 47 years old plus. What we must therefore ask ourselves as Nigerian Youth is: has this objective been met? The answer to this question will vary between yes and no.
Wherever you stand, it’s clear and obvious that in our genuine quest for nationhood, we, the middle aged and young Nigerian must begin to live and act the nation we desire. Let’s do more of actions and less of talking.
In Kogi State, after assuming leadership divinely on the 27th of January, 2016 as governor, myself and my team made it a cardinal point of abhoring these three primordial sentiments of ethnicity, religious bigotry and class demarcation. By January 27th, 2021, by the grace of God – Insha Allah; we shall be 5 years old in the saddle of governance of Kogi State. A mini- Nigeria 🇳🇬 in the words of no less a person than the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR – during the kick off of the 2019 Presidential rally in Lokoja. My team can hit our chest that we have lived up to this creed in the most fair, just and equitable manner.
Today, myself, my deputy whom I call my Siamese twin brother, alongside the New Direction Government Team comes from different faith, ethnic background, cultural upbringing and social status. We make bold to say we form the youngest leadership team in the Nigerian executive space today. We have dwelt primarily on 3 core values, namely; Character, Capacity and Selfless Service. We also believe that these tripod are critical ingredients to nationhood and nation building. We also believe that the Nigerian Youth is well positioned, both in capacity and character to drive the new Nigeria we desire, beginning from all of us gathered here today.
So I urge you all to go into the society, various community and begin to live this creed. “Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand”.
As the Chief Security Officer in Kogi State, I can assure you of 3 things:
1. Your security is assured
2. In Kogi State, we have demystified the COVID 19 Pandemic and urge you all to feel free and have a breath of fresh air.
3. Kogi State people are not only hospitable, but are good people to live with as long as you stay away from vices, crime and criminality. Be good exemplary citizens, add values to your community where you do your primary assignments.
You are welcome to Kogi State, the Confluence of Opportunities, where the two great rivers of Niger and Benue meet in harmony and gravitate towards the oil-rich Niger Delta region before pouring into the the great Atlantic Ocean.
On a lighter note, the female folks in this camp almost outnumber the male the ratio of 2:1, we are a gender sensitive government. In Kogi State, we are setting the pace in ensuring that women and the female folk are given the voice In governance and leadership. Today, the Secretary to the State Government is a woman. The Head of Service, Kogi State Civil Service is a woman. And for the very first time in the history of Nigeria, my Aide to Camp is a woman of the Nigerian Police Force. We have several Chairmen of Boards as women and just recently, our party, the All Progressive Congress are lining up 21 women as Vice Chairmanship Candidate for the 21 Local Government in Kogi State. And to ice it all up, we believe when we are victorious on the electoral poll coming up on December 12, 2020, the legislative leadership at 21 Local Government Council will be manned by women. The testimony that in Kogi State whether you be a male or a female, you have equal opportunity to add your voice in Governance is never in doubt.
Again for emphasis, today we have various regional nomenclature from the Oduduwa, to Afeniferi, Arewa, Kwararafa, Middle Belt, Ohaneze, IPOB, Niger Delta and the list continues; I urge you all to go into Kogi State and be a Nigerian. Go into the service year speaking for Nigeria and being a Nigerian.
Being a youth like you and as it has been my usual practice, I shall be handing out a token of N10,000 naira to each persons via your account number. I will equally urge the coordinator to quickly provide us with the Names, State of Origin, Bank Details and Phone Numbers of the Corp Members as soon as possible.
Finally, I say to you all; welcome to Kogi State and Congratulations. Thank you, God Bless you.
Speech delivered by Chief Edward Onoja, Deputy Governor, Kogi State.
16th November, 2020