By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Open African Foundation, an NGO, has called on the youth to imbibe good moral values and renewed hope, anchored on patriotism, equality and love to build a new Nigeria.
The Chairman of the foundation, Mr Tunji Aworinde, made the call during an annual conference and essay writing competition organised for secondary school students in FCT as part of s catch- them-young initiative on Monday in Abuja.
Aworinde said the initiative was to invigorate the spirit of patriotism in the minds of the children and to encourage them to toe the path of integrity, love and hard work.
He added that it was also to ensure that the children shunned corruption, social vices and all forms of immoral behaviour retrogressive to Nigeria as a nation.
According to Tunji, moral and other good values have so much been eroded in the present day society, adding that people no longer call crime by its name.
He added that the youth now engage in all sorts of immoralities, inhaling illicit substances and contributing to the heights of insecurity in the country.
Aworinde, a United Kingdom-based Forensic Expert, admonished the students “to inculcate the right values that are anchored by love, with love, and for love, where everyone is more equal than they are now.
“If we must secure the future of the Nigerian society, there is the urgent need to locate and raise the young students who are often referred to as leaders of tomorrow with the values and principles of effective leadership.
“This is because our future lies on the shoulders of the young students in secondary and tertiary institutions.
“We need to build a new Nigeria that values the goodness of our hearts over the depth of our pockets.
“We need a Nigeria where wealth is not what is inherited by our children but the capacity to do well and stand up for our fellow brothers and sisters,” he said.
Aworinde encouraged them to imbibe hard work, commitment, integrity and love for a better Nigeria.
The Director-General of Nigeria Institute of Police Study, Abuja, Mr Olu Ogunsakin, said such conference was not only apt but very necessary, considering the level of moral decadence in the country.
Ogunsakin added that any life without good character was like a vehicle without tyre; “you can hardly succeed in life, so there’s need to inculcate into the young minds integrity, accountability and sense of responsibility’’.
He, however, charged parents to be of good example to their wards and teach them how to be responsible citizens.
“When the right values are inculcated into them at early stage, they will grow to become better people in the future and give back to the society,’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that high point of the event was the presentation of awards to students who took part in the essay competition.
The title of the easy was “The kind of Nigeria I want and what I would do if I was the Nigerian President’’.
Twelve secondary schools in FCT participated.
The event attracted officials from the Federal Ministry of Information and other relevant stakeholders. (NAN)