A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE FIRST OLU-AFOLABI ROUNDTABLE HELD AT TEES EVENTS CENTRE, OYO ON THE 28TH DECEMBER, 2020.
The Inaugural Olu-Afolabi Roundtable in honour of Late Olu-Afolabi, a former member of the Federal House of Representatives had in attendance stakeholders and indigenes of Oyo extraction from all walks of life to discuss issues affecting the development of the town as it relates to security, economy, education and youth development. The theme of the roundtable was Economic and Youth Development and Security in Oyo.
The keynote address was delivered by Professor Willie Owolabi Siyanbola, a Research Professor of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Centre for Energy Research and Development at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and former Director-General of the National Centre for Technology Management under the distinguished Chairmanship of Chief (Prince) Ajibola Afonja, former Minister for Labour and Productivity and Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria.
The event began with the keynote speech that x-rayed the theme of the roundtable before the panel discussion that featured Chief Oyebisi Ilaka, the Ladilu of Oyo Kingdom and Chief of Staff to the Governor of Oyo State; Dr Sulleiman Adediran, Education and Development Expert; Prince (Honourable) Akeem Adeyemi, Member, Federal House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Communication; Mr. Taiwo Hassan Adebayo, Media and Development Professional and Chief Investigative Journalist with the Premium Times Nigeria; Mr. Daniel Abimbola Kolade, Commissioner, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission; and Mr. Oyewale Ogunmola.
The roundtable became necessary to x-ray the challenges youth restlessness, gang violence, drug abuse and poverty pose to the development and peaceful co-existence of Oyo town. At the event, panelists identified issues responsible for these problems and offered solutions that could address them adequately when all stakeholders mobilise resources and energies to tackle them.
Some of the issues identified are:
1. Lack of mentors to guide the younger ones in our different compounds.
2. Empowerment and celebration of thugs by political and traditional class.
3. The presence of hard drugs spots near schools and in the nooks and crannies of the town.
4. Poor parenting where many parents have neglected their responsibilities which has made many innocent children easy targets of recruits for gang groups in the town.
5. Unemployed youths with many wives and children that they can’t cater for which makes the children relate with thugs that give them tokens and thereby see these miscreants as role models.
6. Failure of religious houses to teach ethics and good morals.
7. Community and parents abhorring thugs.
8. Increase in the number of uneducated and drop-out youths in the community.
1. Regular mentoring of the younger ones to direct their steps to what is acceptable in the community and away from acts that could constitute dangers to the community.
2. Providing educational access and skills development for children, youths and many of these thugs as a form of transforming them for the good of the community.
3. Economic empowerment of the youths by relevant stakeholders in the community.
4. High-level stakeholders’ engagements that will include traditional and community leaders, religious leaders, the political class and the general public in Oyo town.
5. Collaboration with security outfits to identify, arrest and prosecute criminals in the community as a way to curb criminality and discourage others from going into crimes.
6. Celebrating high achieving youths from Oyo as a way to encourage the younger ones that excellence pays.
7. Creating profitable alternatives for youths in the community so that they can be gainfully employed and have access to platforms to make money to cater for themselves and their families.
8. Community, religious and traditional leaders in the community must be ready to provide youths with quality leadership to serve as role models and good examples for them to emulate and follow.
9. Active participation and involvement of youth in key decision making on issues that affect them within the community.
10. The LG bosses are tasked to be committed to local security by collaborating with key stakeholders in the town as a matter of urgency and continuous efforts to identify security gaps and proffer timely solutions to arrest them.
It was agreed at the roundtable that all stakeholders in Oyo must be determined to contribute to a total transformation of our youths as a way to achieve sustainable peace, youth development, community growth and economic empowerment of our people. This can be achieved with adequate follow-up mechanisms put in place to actualize many of the recommendations and suggestions offered at the event.
Mr. Olorunpoto Rahman – OGF Chairman
Mr. Agboola Afees Akinola – OGF General Secretary