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Why parents, adults should support ‘Not Too Young To Run’ campaign

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Parents and adults have been urged to support young people in their quest to find a footing in life and not inhibit their progress. Also, young people’s quest to run for elective offices through ‘Not Too Young To Run’ campaign has received a boost from an elder, who believes young people deserve a chance to lead since adults have largely failed in that department to lead to the land of promise.

These were the admonitions of Mr. Abiodun Ibikunle, a retired oil and gas expert, who also recently chaired the launch of Abisola Biya’s book Life’s Lessons… My Path to Happiness in Lagos. Ibikunle charged parents not to “underestimate the capacity of our young ones. That is why we should all support the slogan ‘Not Too Young To Run.’ All our past leaders started out very young. Abisola has surprised us with her intelligence and intellect. So, the youth has something to offer. Youth have ideas and we need to give them time to blossom.”

The occasion gave the former Department of Petroleum Resources official time to reflect on the peculiar Nigerian problem and how the system is rigged to fail. He spoke on how quickly they became disillusioned about the system they enthusiastically served and wanted to change, but said bureaucratic bottlenecks stifled efforts all at reforms.

“But sadly, that was not the case as the system was very frustrating,” he noted.

A widely read man, Ibikunle also compared Abisola’s writerly skills to Nigeria’s pioneer female writers, who started early and made a mark for themselves. He compared Abisola to the likes of Mabel Segun, who was first published in 1965, Flora Nwapa, 1966, Buchi Emecheta, 1972 and who wrote at age 28, Zaynab Alkali, 34, Helen Oyeyemi, 19, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 26, Sefi Atta, 41, Lola Shoneyin, and U.S.-based Nigerian female sensation, Tomi Adeyemi, who at 24, has USD$1 million dollar book and film deal for her debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone.

Ibikunle concluded, “Tomi is a challenging one; Abisola at 26 is within the age bracket of the authors I referred to. In the next few years, we hope to see another book from you. The sky should be the beginning for you. We want to see books from you we can proudly show to our grandchildren. What you have done is to challenge yourself and to do more. I have confidence you will not disappoint us in your writerly journey!”

The author, Biya, who is much travelled and whose book is on motivation, financial intelligence and role modeling, said Life’s Lessons… My Path to Happiness is “about things in society and my experiences growing up and where I have lived. No matter what you’re going through, be rest assured that somebody had gone through it before.”

While reviewing the book, Chinyere Chimodo said Abisola “writes to advise, nudge, sensitise… It can pass for a circular book, a religious book, a moral compass. It’s multi-faceted. It’s about financial intelligence; it’s global. She has succeeded in sustaining our interest and excitement.”

The highpoint of the book launch was the juicy offers Abisola got from two of her patrons, who promised to bankroll the next book she would write.

Other dignitaries that attended the event were Abisola’s siblings and her parents, Wale and Ayoade Biya, Prince Adeyemi Lipede, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Lagos State University, Prof. Oyedamola Oke, Dr. Adeleke Akajogun, Abimbola Ayoola, Pastor Bayo Babalola and others.


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