Interview with Comrade Adefolaju Lawrence
THE YOUTHS ARE LEADERS OF TOMORROW BUT ARE ALSO CO-LEADERS OF TODAY -COMRADE LAWRENCE ADEFOLAJU
The Ekimogunmirror team caught up with Comrade Lawrence Adefolaju, a popular activist in Ondo Kingdom at Faith Hall and Hotels during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Miss Ekimogun Beauty Pageant. The self acclaimed activist addressed some prevalent societal issues amongst other issues.
Comrade Lawrence Adefolaju became a recognised Youth leader in Ondo Kingdom when he founded the Ayeyemi Youth Forum in 2001. During his time as the Youth leader of the Ayeyemi Province, he made history by celebrating the “mother of all carnival”; the first recognized youth carnival in Ondo Kingdom in 2001. After a successful stint with Ayeyemi Youth Forum, he became the Youth Leader of the defunct All Nigeria Progressive Party (ANPP). His commitment to better serve his people forced him to jettison politics for youth affairs wherein he extended his tentacles to youth affairs at the national level. He is presently the Secretary General of the National Youth Council (NYC).
Speaking on the prevalent increase in youth vices in our society, Comrade Adefolaju stated that the youths need orientation and re-orientation; he was however quick to add that the yearnings of the youths in the society have never been heard by our leaders who have repeatedly maintained deaf ears to such yearnings. He observed that the present leaders are doing next to nothing in enhancing the future of our youths and advised that employment for the youths is of paramount importance because an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. While admitting that the youths are leaders of tomorrow, he opined that they are also co-leaders of today hence they must be allowed to rule alongside the present leaders in order to have them well prepared for their future leadership role. He suggested that while the government is still addressing the employment issues, it should in the meantime re-orientate the youths as to other viable means of sustenance that can be embarked on rather than resorting to illegal ways of enriching themselves.
Reacting to the marginalization of the youths in governance at the National level and the efforts of the NYC in ensuring that the youths are not left out in the scheme of affairs, the comrade said that NYC has been on its toes to ensure that youths agitations are being heard at all relevant quarters and commended the efforts of the present government in providing a suitable platform for bringing forth such agitations. He advised the youths to ensure that they are more than ready to play the leadership role whenever they are afforded such an opportunity noting that there are instances where the youths have blown such opportunities in the past. He raised a poser: “are we youths really prepared for future challenges? Are we really equipped to face the present challenges? Furthermore, he stated that the present marginalization of Youths in Ondo Kingdom is based on the misunderstanding amongst the youths which is a direct result of the divide and rule policy adopted by politicians; in his words: “the politicians have been able to throw a bone into the midst of two dogs so they don’t want the youths to have a formidable force”. He urged the youths of the Kingdom to forget about political affiliations and join hands together to move the kingdom further; he also advised the youths to stay away from social vices so as to enhance their images and show the elders that they are of impeccable characters and are up to whatever leadership role they may be tasked with. He stated thus:“the ball is in the courtyard of the youths……we should not fold our arms, you cannot climb a tree putting your two hands into your pocket, the youths have to come with a formidable force to say it to the people at the helms of affairs of this nation that it is time for the voice of the youths to be heard”.
Comrade Adefolaju commended the efforts of the Osemawe and his Council in transforming Ondo Kingdom from a town to a city, he remarked that the step is one in the right direction stating that such development is long overdue for a Kingdom that has existed for over 500 years. He advised the Osemawe and his council not to relent in their efforts and also enjoined all and sundry in the kingdom to join hands with the royal ruler and put in a place concerted effort in taking the Kingdom to greater heights. In a similar vein, he applauded the innovation behind the fast rising ekimogunmirrror; noting that it will play a crucial role in reviving the dwindling cultural values of Ondo Kingdom.