Hosted by OAP, Gbemileke ‘Oscar’ Oyinsan and Executive Director of the Yahyay Foundation Maryam Augie, the event, broadcast live from Koga Studios, Lagos witnessed some of Nigeria’s brightest entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates and youth leaders. Former World Bank Vice-President and Senior Economic Advisor to the Open Society Foundation, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili who spoke at the event said, “The most important office in any democracy is the office of the citizens and not the executive or the judiciary. So, I task you today to seek for change and I am sure you’ll see it delivered.”
Chairman of the APC Youth Forum; Ismail Ahmed said “…as a generation the future is inevitable, the only way you can determine events is when you are part of the process. If you want to see something different, you have to be willing to do something different.
81-year-old Dr. Christopher Kolade, Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Pro-chancellor of the Pan-Atlantic University delivered a sharp charge to a new generation: “You can’t expect me to transform this nation. I have no need for transformation. The power of transformation is vested in your palms, and the young people are the generation for transformation.”
Ohimai Amaize, executive member of PDP Youth Circuit said “We are responsible for what we want to see and we are responsible for what we become. I believe that Nigerian youths are not a problem to be solved but a resource to be harnessed”Speakers included Director General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Frank Nweke Jnr.; Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole; Chief Executive of Ebony Life TV, Mo Abudu; Chief Executive of the Private Sector Health Initiative, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq; actress and activist, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde; Creative Director of Mai Atafo Inspired, Ohimai Atafo, and Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria, ‘Yemi Adamolekun. There were also panels of distinguished Nigerians from across sectors, including Flying Doctors Founder, Ola Orekunrin, and The Future Awards Africa Prize in Business winner, Dr. Saeed Jumah, amongst others. There were representatives and contributions from major political parties in Chapter events across Nigeria.
There was a live Google Hangout featuring Diaspora Chapters of GenVoices as well as a live broadcast from the Abuja Chapter at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre with speakers including Chief Executive of Chocolate City Group, Audu Maikori. Viewing Centres were set up across the 30 chapters of GenVoices in and outside Nigeria including at least a gathering of over 4,000 people in the Ogun State Chapter.
“We are gathered today for one reason only and that is change. A new Nigeria begins today,” said Kola Oyeneyin, Convener of GenVoices. “So, I hereby deliver this simple announcement to you today that you are the ones Nigeria has been waiting for. Today is the day that Nigeria has been expecting; for it has fallen upon a generation to be great and you are that generation. No single man is responsible for where Nigeria is today, we all are responsible. And we know, that if Nigeria works, Africa will work. There is a chance for legacy to be created, so I ask if not us, who? If not now, when? Tweet it, post it, paint it; let the world hear our simple creed, WE ARE THE ONES!”
The event ended with the upload of the GenVoices charter on www.genvoices.org and performances by Omawumi and Timi Dakolo.
All photographs courtesy ynaija.com
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