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Nigerian youths must be innovative, shun drug abuse – Experts

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CEO TOVA Africa, Mr Tosin Bakare (third left) flanked by dignitaries at the celebration of the first anniversary of the organisation, in Ibadan, Oyi State, recently.

Nigerian youths have been advised to have a rethink and tilt their focus to innovations that can transform lives as well as shun drug abuse, which has contributed to high rate of crime and health hazards in the country.

These were the key submissions and recommendations of experts and professionals in the health sector and media that graced the first anniversary of an innovative organisation, TOVA Africa, held at its office, Nalende Road, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State

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Experts at the event include former acting Rector, The Polytechnic Ibadan, Dr. Femi Ipadeola and former Country Director, JPHIEGO; Professor Bayo Omoloye of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan and Chief Executive Officer, Ruston Realtors, Michael Oladiji, among other dignitaries.

Speaking at the event, Ipadeola, stressed that the keys that determine one’s success in life include nature, nurture and association, urging younger generation to take positive advantage of them to have a resourceful life.

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He lamented that the value system in Africa has deprecated beyond a reasonable doubt, noting that it is time Africa revisit its value system and alternative education system, which will re-engineer the mindset of the younger generation in the country and the entire continent.

“What you know, whom you know and what you do determine your journey in life. No personality trait is negative or positive, everything in life is neutral. It is the use to which you deploy it that determines the value it has. So, it is the use to which you put an item that determines its value. But for your journey, for certain responsibilities, personality traits will work for you. Our value system is wrong. What we need is not roads and bridges, those things are useful to fast track economic opportunities, but more than those is mindset re-engineering,” he added.

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Professor Otolorin also expressed his displeasure on the high rate of intake of hard drugs among Nigerian youths, just as he noted that this development has exposed younger generation to deadly diseases and untimely death.

He, however, advised youths across the country to shun forms of the drug that might be injurious to their health as well as be conscious of their health status through a routine check, adding that, “Prevention is better than cure. I also want to encourage people not to wait alone on the provision of government healthcare but should take a step further in adopting self-healthcare.

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“It has become worrisome that many Nigerian youths are exposed to drug abuse. When I attended an annual conference in Sokoto to address a particular health issue, the Emir, stood up and said we should forget about obstetrics, and we should help them to solve the problem of drug abuse among the youth including, the young women in his domain. We have a lot of young people in northern Nigeria and even other parts of the country that are involved in terrible things underneath. So, it is time we educate our youths more against drug abuse,” he added.

In his remarks the Director-General, Protocols to the Oyo State Governor, Chief Toyin Badejo, commended the management of TOVA on the innovative drive to redirecting mindset of the youths on the right path, noting that the vision of the organisation is in tandem with the goals of the Seyi Makinde-led government, especially in resuscitating free education and providing an enabling environment for youths across the state.

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“It is time for Africa to think big. Africa is blessed with men and women of vision. The main problem is that we are not getting our priorities right; we lack good leadership. We are blessed in Oyo State. Of course, the number one constitutional rule of a government is to provide an enabling environment for business and entrepreneurship. Governor Seyi Makinde is a blessing to Oyo State, especially in education and security,” Badejo said.

The Chief Executive Officer of TOVA Africa, Mr. Tosin Bakare, emphasised his mission to prosper the youths and women in Africa, while he charged the government at the national and state levels to create an enabling environment for the youths to thrive and be productive.

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Bakare said: “I believe that educating African youths can build a better future for generations to come. We are open to government, private sector, or individuals to champion the course of redirecting the mindset of Nigerian youth and empowering them for a brighter future. We have a network of international partners and we are confident that Nigerian youths can transform the country, Africa, and the world at large for good through our innovative trainings.”

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Drug AbuseNigerian youths
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