• Says Education Will Give Young People Options

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

First Lady of Nigeria, Oluremi Tinubu, has encouraged young first-time female farmers under the ages of 15-25 years, to take part in the ‘Every Home a Garden’ competition, initiated by her pet project, Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI), which entails them planting a garden at home whereby the harvest can provide food on their table and enough to give their neighbour and stand a chance to win N20 million prize.

She made the call at the Nigerian Youth Celebration tagged, “Honouring The Youth of Our Nation” with the theme: Becoming: Pathway to Success” in commemoration of the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, held at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.

She said the winner of the competition which will be announced in December 2024, is open to every woman from all the states of the federation, including the FCT.

She also encouraged the young people to take part in the National Fabric Competition #ONE NIGERIA/unity fabric and create a fabric that is indigenous, promotes peace, and unifies everyone as Nigerians and stand a chance to win N25 million to be channelled towards his/her education or business venture of their choice.

According to Mrs Tinubu, the competition is open to all Nigerians within and outside the shores of the country between the ages of 15-25 years old.

The First Lady expressed disappointment that since the competition was announced a month ago, only 40 people have registered.

“The prize for the ‘Every Home A Garden’ competition is N20 million for the winner. I don’t do second prize, third prize, is the best. America where we learn from, doesn’t do second best. You are either or you are not. So I am pushing that as an educationist. I have tried before when I was in the Senate and it really worked.

“The #ONE NIGERIA/unity fabric is N25 million as the star prize. We are going to be showcasing that by October 1st by the grace of God.

“We have very few entries in a country of 200 million people, we have less than 40 entries. Are you going to try? It is better than social media.”

The First Lady, who described the theme of the event – “Becoming: Pathway to Success” as apt, said it captures “the very essence of why we are here. From what has been shared so far, you all have demonstrated the importance of purpose, passion, determination, and resilience and shown us what is possible.”

Mrs. Tinubu who stressed the importance of education to attain great heights, assured that her pet project, RHI, is geared towards complementing the efforts of President Tinubu, in the areas of education, agriculture, social investment and economic empowerment.

“Stay in school, finish school because we are a developing country. When you stay and finish your education, you will have more options.”

Mrs Tinubu said: “We will continue to do our best to provide an enabling environment to foster and support you as active participants in national development and in re-writing Nigeria’s story for good.

“I urge us to keep believing in Nigeria, by the special grace of God, we will witness the rebirth of a new nation that will take its rightful place among the comity of Nations.“

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First Lady used the occasion to paint a vivid tapestry of courage and achievement through the lens of remarkable youth individuals, who took part in a panel discussion led by Adesuwa Omoruan of Arise Television, who have defied odds and left an indelible mark on society.

She described Tunde Onakoya, the Chess Maestro, as a beacon of light in the realm of social impact, who captured hearts with his unwavering dedication to empowering vulnerable children through the strategic game of chess. She noted that his crowning glory came as he etched his name in history by breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon chess game, channelling the proceeds towards noble charitable causes.

According to her, Onokoya’s story is a true embodiment of resilience and altruism and stands as a testament to the transformative power of compassion and determination.

She also applauded 2nd Lt. Princess Oluchukwu Owowoh, whose journey in the military she said is awe-inspiring, a trailblazer who shattered barriers and ascended to become the first Nigerian woman commissioned from the esteemed Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

She noted that her meteoric rise was not only marked by historic significance but also underscored by her exceptional performance, emerging as the most outstanding cadet among her peers.

She said Owowoh’s triumph serves as a beacon of inspiration for young girls everywhere, showcasing that merit and dedication transcend gender boundaries while embodying a rare blend of elegance and intellect.

For Hauwa Shakir, a lawyer, content creator, serial entrepreneur and the CEO of KuluAbuja, the First Lady hailed the budding fashion designer whose creative brilliance and unwavering passion illuminated the narrative.

Mrs Tinubu said her artistic flair and innovative spirit serve as a testament to the transformative power of creativity in shaping industries and inspiring others to pursue their dreams with fervour.

For Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the current Founding Partner of Future Africa, the First Lady, hailed him for being among the tech visionaries and innovators who have revolutionized the African innovation and investment landscape, leaving an indelible imprint on the country and the continent at large.

She hailed the panelists for their relentless pursuit of excellence and groundbreaking contributions, standing as pillars of progress, and shaping a brighter future for generations to come.

Mrs Tinubu hailed their resilience, ingenuity, and passion, underscoring the transformative power of individual agency in sculpting a more vibrant and inclusive society.

In her welcome address earlier, the Minister of Health, Jamila Ibrahim, noted that the event was to recognise and celebrate the achievements of youths in their various fields of endeavours.

She said Nigerian youths are not just the leaders of the future but are making an impact right now, assuring that the Tinubu administration is committed to supporting the youth all the way.

While commending the First Lady for her commitment to youths, she advised them to continue striving for excellence, smashing boundaries towards a future filled with hope, unity and progress.

All four panellists, Aboyeji, Onokoya, Shakir and Owowoh, urged the youths to imbibe discipline, keep at it, be resilient, be patient, trust the process and keep praying for the best.


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