A Case For The Young – By Tosin Ashafa

“Our answer is the world’s hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement of danger. It demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.”

 – Robert F. Kennedy, South Africa, 6-6-1966


I want to first start by saying that I am a young man and my passion is linked to seeing young people defy norms and conventions to blaze trails and herald new vistas. I love the youth “age group.” It’s quite a league in itself. There’s just this sometimes unexplainable energy. You just have to love them.


And in the times when I can articulate a reason for my love for youths, I feel that the reason I like this particular group of people is because they are old enough to envisage and comprehend their life, why they are in a certain situation, and how they arrived there.


They are frequently willing to look at the prospect of change and go with the flow, through the phases. And, they can generally discuss their feelings, even though it is in an outburst of anger. They are receptive to new and fresh ideas and are willing to share these ideas of theirs with you. And, like every person, I have something to learn from each of them!


I have had the privilege of listening to a lot of short, positive and powerful speeches from young people. You know, so often we hear about youths talking but almost rarely do we pause to hear from them. Things I have heard have ranged from person after person sending messages that they care about the earth, their community, each other, and the future.


Youths are deeply associated with one another and they are proud of their varied heritage. They are keen, lucid and they don’t pull any punches when they tell adults just what they see.


In my journey through life and in the process of trying to comprehend the transformation that has characterized the digital age, and investigating the opportunities that abound in helping youths prepare for their integration into civic and political life, I have concluded that civic engagement and political participation stresses the interplay between individual growth, organizations, networks, communities, and platforms.


Like my father, I decided long ago that I would turn myself into a “platform” that facilitates the interplay I talked about in the concluding part of the previous paragraph. I have become a model of civic education that leverages on youth enthusiasm for digital tools and the networked life.


I have chosen to support my peers and younger individuals that want to participate in the political and governance system in Nigeria. I have opted to be a source of morale booster, financial and logistical centre where they can draw on tools that they need to use effectively for civic purposes.


My involvement in politics has proven to be more effective and result-oriented when I’m behind the scene and my passion for the advancement of young dynamic individuals in the politics of Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole is really unmatched.


If we want young people to become more engaged and become effective civic actors, then all youths need to be provided with civic learning environments that are “connected and participatory,” and all youths need to engage in practices that offer a range of civic learning opportunities enabled by new media. This is my humble opinion.


The Importance of Youth in Politics


A quick look at a “global” list of what has been termed as “issues in youth politics” according to politicians, the media and some other sources illustrates some interesting perspectives e.g. Age of candidacy, Child labor laws/Right-to-work laws, Climate Change, Drinking age, Driving age, Education policy/reform, Environmental issues, Healthcare, Immigration, Minors and abortion, National service, School reform, Student rights, Youth vote, etc.


Unfortunately, youths are termed culprits when only a minority of people create social disruptions. Since most youths are generally self-motivated and want to do well in everything they get involved in, doesn’t this mean that they could excel in politics, leadership and governance? This is a question for us to take home.


When we open up the conversation space by allowing youths to voice their opinions, there could be a chance that we would be opening up, moving and deepening the political space. This is not only good for society, but necessary for society.


If the young do not engage in politics, even through pressure groups, imagine the chaos our political establishments would be thrown into just attempting to keep policy impartial and sustainable for coming generations.


Take, for instance, the pertinent issue of rape and sexual harassment, it would be required that many young women engage with the issue at hand because it is an issue a lot of women (young and old) are quite opinionated about.


I would love to end this article by asserting that if as a society, we have not done enough for the youths of today to get involved with politics and, as a large portion of our society, they should be allowed more access to politics to shape the world they live in, I will continue to walk in the steps of my father who mastered the approach of identifying young talents with the ability and the potential to move this nation forward.


Basheer Tosin Ashafa is a real estate / social entrepreneur with a strong interest in the early involvement of youths in politics. He can be reached via basheerashafa@rioconstructionng.com 

FG To Employ 200,000 Graduates In October

The Federal Government has announced on Tuesday that the implementation of its Social Investment Programmes would commence before the end of this month.

This, according to a statement issued in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, is in fulfilment of the government’s campaign promises.

Mr Akande noted that the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, confirmed that implementation plans for the effective commencement of a number of the Social Investment programmes of the Buhari presidency has reached advanced stages as the selection of the first 200,000 unemployed graduates to get jobs is now being completed.

According to the statement, Mr Osinbajo made this known while fielding questions in an interview with a small group of radio journalists and producers at the Presidential Villa.

“We expect that before the end of the month, we will engage 200,000 out of the 500,000 unemployed graduates the Buhari administration plans to hire in the N-Power jobs programme.

“The direct government jobs are meant to keep these young people occupied, pay them some amount of money and also give them a device, which will also help them to learn several skills that they can develop as time goes on.

“We expect that before the end of this month, we should have engaged 200,000 of them and we are hoping that before the end of the year we should have engaged more,” the statement quoted Mr Osinbajo as saying.

The Vice President explained that on the Home-Grown School Feeding programme, this will kick off in several states by the end of October.

“Definitely before the end of this month, we expect that several states would have come on stream with their Home-grown School Feeding Programmes.

“This will energise agriculture in the different states because it is what you plant that you feed the children with, we will be hiring caterers, cooks, etc in each state because it will be Federal Government funded from Primaries 1-3 and the state governments hopefully would be able to cater for the other classes,” Osinbajo was further quoted as saying.

Dalong Inaugurates 3rd Nigerian Youth Parliament

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalong, on Wednesday inaugurated the third session of the Nigeria Youth Parliament in Abuja.


Dalung, while inaugurating the session at the National Assembly complex Abuja, blamed past leaders of the parliament and other youth leaders for the many crises in the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN).


“Our responsibility in the ministry is to make good these policies that are contained in the youth policies and policies of the federal government.


“But the Nigeria youth must be ready to create environment conductive for us to discharge these responsibilities’’, he said.



Dalung frowned at the leadership crisis currently rocking the NYCN, adding that the youth might not be able to contribute to nation-building with the crisis.


The minister charged the incoming members of the parliament to take up the responsibility of achieving peace in NYCN, adding that there was need to restore sanity into the council.


He said that the fragmentation of NYCN which has lasted for some time has resulted in six people laying claims to the leadership of the council.


Dalung expressed concern at the way and manner the ideals and virtues which used to endear the organisation to the public had been eroded.


This, he said has give way to blatant pursuit of personal interest and unabashed materialism by the present day self-acclaimed leaders of the council, at the expense of Nigerian youths.


Dalung said that the parliament was a major stakeholder in the change agenda of the present administration and called on the members to do everything possible to restore sanity.


Earlier, the outgoing President of the parliament, Mr Hussaini MaiBasira, urged members of the parliament to see their selection as an honour and service to the nation.


He urged the incoming leaders to uphold the sanity of the parliament while calling for the support of the National Assembly in achieving its goals and objectives.


Mr Abba Waziri, the outgoing Speaker of Parliament, said the essence of leadership was to groom good leaders that would replace the ageing ones.


He said that the parliament was breeding quality leaders for a better Nigeria.


The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council, Ahmed Adamu, urged the parliament to deliberate on issues of youth development targeted at improving the lives of the Nigerian youths.


He said youth development targets and indicators must be the aim of the parliament if success must be achieved.





#Pausibility: Now That You Have The Assets And Barabbas. What Next?


I want to tell you a story. This story can only be understood by a nurtured and nourished mind. Not any member of NANS as it is presently constituted and IMMENSALLY paraded can understand the message herein. Not even a mind of shallow erudition can get the message. Only a mind that is titillated with genteel ism can grasp the import of the message.

I promised to do this title precisely on the day PMB and Prof Osibajo’s assets were publicized. The different reactions that followed that declaration, especially from the twitter soldiers, made me see that the Nigerian youths are nothing but mere pawns in this whole scheming for political relevance. When #TheList was formally read in the Senate, the attendant protestations (most of which did not travel beyond the social network arena) that followed the announcement convinced me the more that the youths of this nation may have to grey before they realize that their destinies have been expended in the alley of political negotiations by these present elements they are fighting and dying for. The fulfillment of some Nigerian youths does not go beyond selfie-placation from their tin gods and goddesses. They give you selfie you go viral with commotion.

I can do something caustic about that ‘phony’ list just as many are already doing but of what use is it when it will not achieve anything? Until a collective resolve to avoid a repeat of such is achieved, systemic sanity will still be elusive courtesy of the fall for the pigmentation of our minds on grounds of religion and region.

Let me implore everyone that can read and understand me to this point to please get Fela’s ‘Army Arrangement’ playing on their stereos or in their minds as they tag along. Though it is a tweak of what I have submitted on this platform once:

Nikangan became a widow as a result of one of those Kirakita wars that hit the village of Kagbepo. Her nephew, Ohunnikanloku also became an orphan. Nikangan lost everything, but was able to escape being consumed by the war that virtually wiped out her entire family, except her two month old baby. Like her, Ohunnikanloku escaped the gruesomeness of the war a lonesome.

After relative peace returned to the land of Kagbepo, Nikan was able to locate his only surviving nephew, Loku. Expectedly, she took him in and cared for him alongside her only son, Agolopa,

Few months after the reunion, Nikan fell ill, and knowing she may not survive the sickness, called Loku to her bedside, handed Lopa to him and made him promise to take proper care of his cousin, assuring them that both of them will become very great if they could keep the love in the family going strong. She handed him an heirloom, and charged him to make proper use of it, as that was the secret of the massive wealth every member of their family enjoyed. She made him promise to pass the secret of the loom to Lopa when he becomes of age. Ordinarily, she wouldn’t have passed the secret to Loku as anyone who would be the torchbearer must have attained a certain age; but as it stood, she was left with no choice, except she wanted the secret to die with her; hence she passed it on to him regardless of his infantileness. At the end of her many admonitions, she passed away.

She was given a befitting burial.

Loku took his young cousin in. He could pass as Lopa’s father: they had an eighteen- year age difference between them.

As time went by, Loku being an industrious young man, discovered that the small object that was given to him by his aunt could be maximized to becoming a greater source of wealth that will not only be beneficial to his immediate family, but to the entire people of Kagbepo and environs. He took the chance and he recorded some massive wealth; but he was afraid to let other people into the secret as he recalled what led to the Kirakita war; this war wiped out his entire lineage, but for the grace of God that spared him and his handsome cousin. He loved his cousin so much until Tenuboro from Bolebajekobaje village came onto the scene.

Tenuboro had advised Loku that both of them could go to the city where they stood a better chance of making their lives far better than it was in Kagbepo village. Tenu never gives an advice pro bono; he is always looking out for himself in any way he could. Loku, in his usual infantilism jumped at the possibility of exploring the beauties the world had to offer. Not at all a bad thing you will say. Good!

Tenu, knowing that Loku couldn’t do away with his little cousin, went further to advise him to send Lopa to a boarding school, since going to school was the new fad in the nearby Ohunorioje village. He believed this idea of his would be lauded by the villagers as no one in their lineage ever succeeded at attending a school let alone becoming a graduate. Loku bit deep into the idea.

Expectedly, Loku stocked Lopa adequately: Name it. Whatever he needed, even things he didn’t need, he gave him all. And off he sent his little cousin of about six years of age to school at Ohunorioje village. Lopa was so happy that he would be a pacesetter in the history of their family.

On their way to the city of Eminimoniayemi , Tenu asked that they stop over at every village they travel by, and sow their wild oats as they went along , to mark their departure from Kagbepo. Loku typically bought into the idea without checking it twice.

Eventually they got to their destination and it appeared like some good fortune had been awaiting them. They started breaking new grounds and in few years they were both established industrialists. A joint venture: Jaiyeorie Plc., was established with Loku as the CEO and Tenu, the CFO. Tenu was a better manager as he was usually mouthy in any topic that may crop up.

Meanwhile, since they left, Loku had only gone back to the village twice to check on his cousin. On both occasions, he had gone with funds which he deposited with the proprietress of the boarding school that Lopa attended; his fees were ahead of many classes and he also made provision for his upkeep.

When Lopa asked him why he rarely came to check on him, he gave the excuse that he was having it rough in the city. Anyway, he had been told by Tenu not to let anyone in the village, including his cousin Lopa, know about their newfound wealth, and he had agreed to it. He left his car in a neighboring village and took a motorbike to Kagbepo, just to conceal his massive wealth from his people.

When they attained marriageable age, Tenu suggested they get married and reduce their philandering. He took him a wife, his cousin from Bolebajekobaje village.

Things got better and better just as the bible says: A man that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. The conviviality of marriage and childbearing made Loku forget he had a consanguineous responsibility back in Kagbepo.

All communication between Loku and Lopa was lost.

Soon, Lopa was faced with challenges as the money Loku dropped had run out. He expected his sweet cousin to have come back to replenish his purse but he hadn’t come back since he left some years ago. Lopa had savored the sweet juice of education and wouldn’t want to stop drinking from that fountain of knowledge, so he decided to take some time off school, work and employ a private tutor in order to achieve his dream. He pursued this vigorously and he was able to earn a Senior Secondary Certificate, but the huge financial requirement of a university education, he couldn’t bear, hence, he decided to go to the city to work.

Fate brought them together in the city of Eminimoniayemi. Lopa had applied for a job as a gatekeeper in Jaiyeorie Plc., and was billed to meet the CEO as the last stage of the interview. As he walked into the massive office of the CEO, he marveled, just as the spirit of Queen of Sheba left her at the sight of Solomon’s riches. He shakily sat before the CEO who sat face down attending to a file. When he lifted his face, he saw his cousin; his only relative. His only surviving extended relation.

He lamented. He took him in his arms. He wept. He apologized, and they went home to his house together. As soon as they settled for a chat after a good meal, he asked why Lopa didn’t use his real name on the application.

Lopa laughed as he made his aged cousin understand that these days, you keep your real name for some special purposes, and use your pen name for general purposes. The uncle replied, “Oh, I see.” Sounded like an elderly man out of tune.

The next day, Loku had taken Lopa with him to the office so he could start work as one of the directors of the organization, but first, he had to seek the consent of his good friend, Tenu.

Tenu, a killjoy, vehemently refused Lopa the opportunity, citing his inadequate education as one of the reasons why he could not occupy the office of a director, but suggested that he could be taken in as a clerk, from which position he can rise through the ranks in the organization.

For the first time, his partner and friend, Loku, objected to his suggestion, pointing at Tenu’s girlfriend who was employed as an Assistant Director, despite her woeful performance during the interview. He also mentioned Tenu’s “grand niece”, who was a primary school leaver but got a job as a Supervisor in the HR department. Loku vehemently rejected Tenu’s suggestion and insisted that his cousin would not take up any position lower than that of a Director.

Tenu, asked Lopa to excuse them as he would like to have a chat with his partner. Once Lopa was out, Tenu reminded Loku that if they took Lopa in as a Director, he will quickly rise to the position of power and soon after demand that the family heirloom be transferred to him, since they both know that he is the rightful harbinger of the priceless possession that is the source of their wealth. That, said Lopa, will be the end of their affluence. As usual, Loku foolishly agreed with his partner. They both decided to make Lopa a clerk.

The next working day, Lopa resumed at the front desk of the organization. The position given to him was just a bait to have him sent out as soon as it could be established that he lacked the smoothness of a gentleman to be a good face of the organization. They had thought that his village education could not have exposed him to anything like Customer Relationship Management; but far from that, he was a most temperate individual. More polished than they had thought.

One of those times, a rude visitor barged into the office premises, showing no courtesy. Lopa, tried to stop her and he got slapped by the young lady. Obviously in her teens. She yelled away. Minutes later, Tenu came back to the front desk with the lady to warn Lopa never to stop her anytime she comes around as she is the daughter of the CFO: a stern warning that could make a goat steer clear from a yam. Lopa wept bitterly that day but became more determined than ever not to give up until he attained success.

Few years later, he finished his part-time study, about the same time his niece and nephew finished their Masters Degree programs in one of the Ivy League, and returned home to take up appointments in their father’s organization. Meanwhile, Tenu’s son had just been deported from his base in Europe on account of drug related offences.

Loku had to find a way to get his children into juicy positions in the organization, and as Sons of the Entrepreneur’, they were quickly fixed far ahead of their great uncle. It should be noted that, they never knew Lopa as their uncle, as Loku never introduced them to one another. As far as they were concerned, he was their subordinate while he saw them as his superiors.

Sewere, the deported son of Tenu was also made an HOD.

Lopa, amidst so much stress, struggled to complete his Masters Degree program with the hope that he would get a raise on his job. Sadly, his efforts met with a brick wall because according to his Directors, he had no professional qualification. Taking up this one more challenge, he enrolled for and pursued a professional course in his field vigorously.

One day, Sewere ordered Lopa to his office to search for a particular file for him, all in the bid to cover up his incompetence to handle the position he is occupying. While searching, Lopa came across a dusty file that was kept at the back of the shelf. The file must have been kept away for live forever. Curiously, he kept it aside and located the file Sewere demanded, handling the job for him as usual. While Sewere visited the convenience, Lopa quickly returned to his duty post with the dusty file. He opened the file and to his utmost bewilderment, he read about how his rightful inheritance was being traded by his cousin and his friend. He read about the family heirloom and how he was supposed to be the present custodian of same. He rose up with the zeal to challenge his and his coz and his friend, but fear enveloped him few seconds later and he chose to tread gently because they may throw him out of the office and he will be out on the streets begging for a job like millions of qualified but jobless graduates, some of whom have lost their lives in the bid to eke out a better life for themselves and their family.

He would rather exercise patience; after all, his uncle and his friend were fast approaching their graves. He would wait until they are dead, and afterwards, he would negotiate with their offspring. He would start by introducing himself to his nephew and niece, thereafter he will demand a quotalised participation in the business, and if they refuse, he would not mind continuing working with them. After all, it is still in the family.

“Lopa should exert his right and take full control”. Some of us would say.

Maybe I should conduct a vox pop.

Please tell me: who is Agolopa in this present day Nigeria?


*Ago(Lopa)- enrapt with stupidity. *Bolebajekobaje- anarchistic lifestyle. *Eminimoniayemi- Selfish thrust *Jaiyeorie- Outlandish. *Kajogbepo- Peaceful co-habitation. *Kirakita -higgledy-piggledy. (Nikan)gan- loaded with treasures. *Ohunnikan (Loku)- the only survivor. *Ohunoriorije- survivalism. *Sewere- a cavalier existence. *(Tenu)boro- Unsolicited adviser.

El-Rufai’s Inauguration Ends Abruptly As Youths Attack Emir, Chief Judge

The inauguration of Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State ended abruptly on Friday after angry youth pelted some prominent indigenes of the state, including the revered Emir of Zaria, Shehu Idris, and the state chief judge, Taminu Zailani, at the venue of the inauguration. The rampaging youth accused them of colluding with the previous administration of Governor Ramalan Yero to plunder the resources of the state.

They specifically demanded the dethronement of the Emir who in the ensuing pandemonium that enveloped the venue of the inauguration was rescued and smuggled out of the venue by his palace guards. A senator-elect, Shehu Sani, used his car to smuggle the chief judge out of the venue. He then drove him to his home in the Riga Chikun area of Kaduna.

Mr. El-Rufai could not review the parade mounted by the police as some youth pelted dignitaries with water in sachets, stones and other objects in the pavilion. This prompted security agents to fire tear gas into the crowd at the Murtala Square, Kaduna.

Some dignitaries in the pavilion included the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, and other traditional rulers in the State. The incident occurred when the new governor had concluded his address and was about to mount an open van to review the parade mounted by the police.

While the crowds were dispersed by the police, dignitaries remained seated, but the occasion ended abruptly without the governor reviewing the parade. The Murtala Square was filled to capacity.

Credit: NAN

The Hut

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh Represented Nigeria at the World Economic Forum Meeting at the Vatican. He shares his experience from his meeting with the Pope.

The Hut

by Jake Okechukwu Effoduh.

Insight from the World Economic Forum meeting at the Vatican

 There is a common Igbo[1] proverb that says, ‘A man who does not leave his hut will bring nothing in.’[2] This saying describes a person with self-interest who is only concerned about the business in his hut and does not see the need to go or look outside. The hut represents a mindset. It is a way of thinking, that restricts not only the individual, but also their family and community at large.

Reflecting on this proverb reveals the potential of an increasing value to an individual and the community at large when a person is willing to go outside and bring more people in. The notion of: ‘with more people in the hut, the food gets smaller for everyone’ is a deceitful concept because with more people let inside, there will be more food. There are more resources outside therefore, more people coming in, means more resources and capacities.

“Whoever looks into a mirror in order to improve himself hasn’t really changed”. The capitalist world has looked at businesses in the same mirror for many years and the image it creates is a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Perhaps it is time to look, maybe not at the mirror anymore, but the window – to see who is outside the hut and if possible open the doors to let them in.

This reason why the World Economic Forum called together 80 leaders from around the world was to explore ways of overcoming social and economic exclusion. The event was a result of the collaboration between the Holy See (Pontifical Council for the Laity) and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and it took place on the 18th and 19th of November 2014 in Rome, Italy. The meeting was inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis contained in the book, Evangelii Gaudium[3] and his message to participants at the Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos-Klostiers[4]. His Holiness states that, ‘Business is – in fact – a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life’[5].

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh Speaking With Chidiogo Akunyili, The Senior Manager Africa Of The Global Shapers Community As Well As, Mauro Ometto, A Global Shaper Of The Rome Hub.

Jake Effoduh Speaking With Chidiogo Akunyili, The Senior Manager Africa Of The Global Shapers Community As Well As, Mauro Ometto, A Global Shaper Of The Rome Hub.










Today, half of the largest 100 economies are companies[6]. The governments who are meant to be custodians of the ‘greater meaning’ are now losing economic power to the Fortune 500s. Businesses are more interested in profits than the ‘greater meaning in life’ and this has dragged the world to an extreme poverty trap. With a billion and a half of the world’s population living in slums, the current social inequality has resulted into a global economic dysfunction. Economic and social inequalities are the root causes of social evil. This is evidenced by Oxfam’s statistics revealing that more than half of the world’s population owns the same wealth as the richest 85 persons[7]. In other words, 85 individuals in a world of 7 billion are living in huts that can accommodate half of the world.

Participants at the Vatican meeting comprised of World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs communities. Also present were representatives from the Holy See, senior business leaders and global experts on inequality and social inclusion. We examined the drivers of inequality and explored novelties from the private and public sectors, and civil society that can help build more inclusive, entrepreneurial economies that are based on the principles of love and respect for all.

The outcome of the meeting was the creation of a new social contract for all human progress, which will provide essential resources for economic engagement, ensure well-functioning institutions, rights and responsibilities, and enable all global citizens to lead purposeful lives. The three areas to enable the realization of a new global mindset are: personal transformation, organizational transformation and cultural transformation.

Jake Effoduh Discussing With A Caucus Group As They Draft The "New Social Contract"

Jake Effoduh Discussing With The Caucus Group As They Draft The “New Social Contract”









On personal transformation: The Pope made it clear that people can make relevant contribution by placing their expertise at the service of those who are still in poverty; “The vocation of an entrepreneur is a noble work when it is led by a quest towards the broader meaning of life[8].” One hut can change the mindset of an entire community. One person can make the difference. Professor Klaus Schwab is one person. He founded the World Economic Forum in 1971[9] through inspiration from his own book, Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau[10] – in which the stakeholder principle was first ever defined[11]. He is the same person who created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[12] in 1998, at a time when nobody knew what social entrepreneurship was! Two heads may be better than one, but one head is enough to inspire and commit others to improving the state of the world. Schwab’s ideology is that even if one hut (or stakeholder) may be too small, one must realize that there are those who do not have huts – and they constitute one and a half billion people.

The purport of organizational transformation is to create a new language in organizations. The language of using long term dynamism to meet short term goals; the language of leadership not rulership; the language of owning the responsibility for social transformation and human development. We have to evacuate ourselves from the circular economy of “take-make-waste” to “take-make-retake-remake-retake-remake.” Capitalism in its current model is unequivocally broken and it is going to get worse if we don’t incorporate ecological boundaries as well as the need to embrace equality in humanity. We need a world of plenty and not plenty for a few. Therefore there is need for organizations to transform their mindsets. It’s not about making profits but about making people.

Cultural transformations will only fruition with acceptance. We must work towards a system that embraces all people from all backgrounds, ensuring that each individual and group has the ability to contribute to a prosperous, purpose-driven world to their highest potential. They say what a man can do; a woman can do better. But why do women constitute 70% of the world’s poorest?[13] Anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation have an especially strong correlation with GDP per capita[14]. But do we need a business case before we advance equality? Living by the culture of your hut is like looking into the mirror to improve yourself. Stepping outside your hut will give you an opportunity to have a better perspective. Stereotypes must be unlearned.


The Podium









The new mindset is about recognizing the human dignity. It is about selflessness and sacrifice. It is ensuring that institutions exist for common good and stewardship. Businesses must be capable of feeling emotion, compassion and humanity. ‘How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’[15]

The Qur’an instructs us to ‘give them [the poor] of the wealth of God, which He has given you’.[16] The bible says ‘whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed’[17]. Charity is a necessity in life because some of us are tested by being rich and some of us are tested by being poor, but charity is not enough. The new mindset goes beyond the thinking that the poor cannot help themselves, or that they have no capacity. Our role in helping the poor is not likened to filling up empty vessels but to ensure that the vessels are uncovered to all their potentials. There is no dignity in giving another man bread, if you are capable of teaching him how to make bread.

Social and economic exclusion is not our inescapable destiny. We can make what seems inevitable, intolerable. We need to change the mentality of “we can’t fix this world” to “we can’t have this world like this” Hence the reason why the pope calls us to action, with a sense of urgency: ‘to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it’[18].


Cross Section of Participants

At The Plenary With Participants





Speaking With Experts On Inclusion


Jake Okechukwu Effoduh is one of the 4,401 Global Shapers: A Community of exceptional young individuals under the age of 30, initiated by the World Economic Forum with currently 359 independent hubs worldwide. Jake Okechukwu is the Deputy Curator of the Abuja Global Shapers Hub, one of the 5 existing hubs in Nigeria. He was invited to The Forum’s meeting at the Vatican where he worked with a selected caucus to draft the new social contract; a framework for meeting the challenge to overcoming social and economic exclusion in the world. It was submitted to, and accepted by His Holiness Pope Francis I. Email: effoduh@gmail.com


  • [1] A tribe from the South- Eastern region of Nigeria and one of the major spoken languages in Nigeria.
  • [2] Akporobaro F.B.O and Emovon J.A Nigerian Proverbs: Meaning and Relevance Today Nigeria Magazine, Lagos, (1994), p. 113.
  • [3] His Holiness, Pope Francis I ‘Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Cergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World’ accessed 7th December 2014.
  • [4] The Vatican, ‘Message of Pope Francis to the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum on the occasion of the Annual Meeting 2014 at Davos-Klosters’ (17 January 2014) Vatican.
  • [5] Ibid.
  • [6] Michael Posner, former U.S Under Secretary of State, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, July 2012
  • [7] Oxfam International, “Number of billionaires doubles since financial crisis as inequality spirals out of control”, accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [8] Ibid. (n3).
  • [9] The history of the World Economic Forum, accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [10] Meaning “Modern Management in Mechanical Engineering”
  • [11] This concept states that the management of an enterprise is not only accountable to its shareholders but must also serve the interests of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and, more broadly, government, civil society and any others who may be affected or concerned by its operations.
  • [12] http://www.schwabfound.org
  • [13] Carly Fiona on ABC’s “This Week” January 12th 2014. accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [14] The Williams Institute, ‘The Relationship between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: An Analysis of Emerging Economies’ (2014) P.2.
  • [15] Ibid. (n3), P. 53.
  • [16] The Holy Quran, Verse 24:33.
  • [17] The Holy Bible; Proverbs 19:17.
  • [18] Ibid. (n4).

The Role of Nigeria Youths in Nation Building By Whyte Habeeb Ibidapo

It is said that blood is thicker than water. It is what defines us, bind us and curses us.  For some, blood means a life of wealth and privilege. And for others, it is a life of servitude. A man should take pride in what he builds, but it should be remembered that what he does to where he hails from is the only real wealth he can claim. I am not immune to distress and like most real Nigerians, I find it hard to shake the feeling these days that our celebrated democracy has gone seriously awry. No thanks to the big destructive daddies. They are the set of leaders who practice a brand of politics that goes beyond the greed for lucre. The evil they commit is never lost; each evil act has a root, and every bit of evil they sow, in time will always bear fruits. I can’t help feeling that the politics of today suffers from a case of arrested development.

It is not that a gap exists between our professed ideals as a nation and the realities we witness every day. In one form or another, that gap has existed since Nigeria’s birth. Civil war have been fought, laws passed, systems deregulated, unions organized and national protests staged to bring promise and practice into closer alignment. All good efforts have been interrupted by bad deeds of the ‘oga at the top’ or the other. The main trouble is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics, and the ease with which we are distracted by petty and trivial things and chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem. It should be noted that the country’s tectonic plates had shifted. Politics is no longer simply a pocketbook issue but a moral issue as well, subject to moral imperatives and moral absolutes. This is why it is the business of everyone. We do not have enough time to wait for a politics with maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised.  Whenever we dumb the political talks or interest, we lose. For it’s precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political talks, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face as a country.

But even then in depth of my grief, not all was darkness. I found the socialize medicine that can be used to cure Nigeria’s present predicament if put into proper use. This medicine was gotten from the books of history that relates to Nigeria as a country. History has it that Nigeria is a great country and has produced great people. One of the striking accounts revealed is the age of her good leaders. The fact remains that the era Nigeria had the best governance was when many of her leaders were in their youthful ages. It shows that Nigeria was best ruled by the youths. The poser now is where are the real Nigerian Youths with guts? I mean guts for genuine leadership tussle and not gut for the love of the full pocket filled with the remains of a looted treasury. What are the youths doing to help restore the image of this country? I learnt from the books that an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

It can be well argued that the youths are trying their best through their various initiatives. Being busy is not the same as accomplishing something. These organizations are set up with good paper work but when they start operation, it is nothing to write home about. They are only dedicated to find their way to a politician that would use them as tool of destruction during electioneering processes. Afterwards, they give awards to them for looting their country’s treasury and making the entire citizens hopeless. Though, some are pretty doing well by pursuing the goals of their initiative and they never compromise standards. They all exist around us, whether for good or for bad.

It is time for the youths to wake up to the reality and forget the theories. It is time for us to act what we say. It is time for us to stand up for Nigeria. It is time for us to come together and support good initiative that would further the course of this noble country. It is time to create the real order which is ‘change’. We are the true leaders and it is through us that the true leaders can emerge. The real time for sacrifice is now. The law of sacrifice is uniform throughout the world. To be effective, it demands the sacrifice of the bravest and the most spotless. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face was marred with dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and come short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end what triumph of achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor loss.

The dream of our great nationalists who fought for Nigeria’s independence from the British imperialists must be restored. They envisioned a nation anchored on egalitarianism, justice, fairness and good governance. It is our duty to make change our new order of pursuit. We must arise and obey the call in full to serve with heart and might so that we can build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.

Whyte Habeeb Ibidapo

@whytehabeeb on Twitter