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Fashola Restates Commitment To Leadership Training For The Youth

May 14, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Thursday re-launched uniformed voluntary organizations and associations in the State’s public schools with a commitment that his administration would continue to strive to inculcate virtues of leadership in young people in the State.

The voluntary organizations and associations re-launched at the colourful ceremony which took place at the Onikan Stadium in Central Lagos, include the Boys Scout Movement, the Girls Guide, the Red Cross, the Sheriff Guide and the Boys’ Brigade among others which are now to hold meetings every Friday in their various uniforms and groups as part of the school curriculum. The uniforms are to be provided free to the children.

In his address at the occasion which witnessed a large turn out of the various organizations and clubs who variously displayed their social service benefits and also entertained the crowd, Governor Fashola noted that the common thread of all of them is the development of the minds and bodies of young people, equipping them with skills, the values and virtues of service. He added that the State Government would not give any less to young people in the State.

The Governor, who lamented the leadership vacuum in the society today, declared, “The quest for a new generation of leaders and those who will exercise uncommon leadership qualities has become a matter of global concern”, adding that as a result, more leadership training institutions are opening up across the globe while more books are being published about leadership roles and responsibilities.

Governor Fashola, however, disagreed with reasoning in some quarters that leaders are becoming extinct or threatened, adding, “My belief is that we have not done enough to enable them thrive”.

Stressing the virtue of responsibility as a building block of leadership, Governor Fashola, pointed out that great leaders the world over had taken responsibility both for themselves and others, adding, “Responsibility requires that only those who can look after themselves can be entrusted to look after others and can be expected to put themselves forward while their needs take the backstage.”

“Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka Nelson Mandela, Obafemi Awolowo, Bola Tinubu and so many other leaders of our time did not become leaders when they took office or by attending training institutes. They had been leaders in their various fields before they took public office”, the Governor pointed out, adding, “This is what we expect from these young faces who will lead our police and army in the not too distant future, people who will be our professors, doctors, teachers and professionals to train others”.

According to the Governor, “These people must have character, they must recognize the need for teamwork, they must understand the meaning of trust and they must understand the value, virtue and nobility of service”, pointing out that these are qualities which they can get from belonging to these uniformed voluntary organizations and associations.

Stressing the importance of these voluntary organizations in building character and other leadership virtues, Governor Fashola declared, “There is in my view no better place to start than the voluntary vocational Clubs that that we are here to re-introduce today as a compulsory part of the education of Lagos State School curriculum, every Friday”.

“We are here, therefore, to start the process again to bend that arc yet another time by using tried but abandoned method of building leaders from the scratch”, Governor Fashola said adding, “The Boys’ Scout taught me community service through the Bob-a-Job programme of cleaning up environment and performing chores from house to house in my neighbourhood”.

The Governor urged Tutors-General, Permanent Secretaries, Parents and Teachers Associations, School Heads, Teachers, Community Leaders, Local Government Chairmen and others who have responsibility over the school children in the State to take the responsibility of ensuring that the children are proudly dressed in the uniforms of their organizations every Friday to attend their associations’ meetings and events as part of the Lagos School Curriculum.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths, Sports and Social Development, Dr. Badru said the re-launch of the uniformed voluntary organizations in the State’s Public Schools was a way of bringing back the good old days, adding that it would ensure safety in the society as the energy of the youth would be channeled towards service instead of drugs and cultism.

According to him, these organizations will develop in the children personal skills as well as inculcate in them the virtues of honesty, discipline, bravery and loyalty, adding that the event represents a recall of the glorious past when the various organizations were part and parcel of children in Lagos Schools.

Also present at the occasion which witnessed a match past by the various organizations included the First Lady and wife of the Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Adenrele Ogunsanya, the Head of Service of Lagos State, Alhaji Yakub Balogun, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Ben Akabueze, among many other top Government functionaries and officers of the various uniformed voluntary organizations.


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