The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II has canvassed for capacity building for the teeming Nigerian youths as the lead way towards the prosperous future for the country.
Ooni, who is also the co -chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) made this known on Saturday at his Ile-Oodua Palace, Ile Ife while addressing a cross section of beneficiaries of the Ojaja Fashion Institute, which is one of the monarch’s initiatives through which youths are being trained to become professional fashion designers.
Addressing the 70 graduands who were also empowered with sewing machines and other tailoring equipments witnessed by their trainers, parents, guardians and dignitaries at the event, Ooni Ogunwusi decried the restiveness of the youths across the country which he attributed to idleness and unemployment.
“This initiative started as a simple training for Ile Ife youths, especially children of the poor but we had to transform it into an institute to accommodate more people across the country.
“Due to poverty and idleness, most youths have found themselves perpetrating several forms of evil, especially our young girls and ladies. Most of them resort into prostitution just to acquire basic necessities of life.
“I came up with this initiative because I realized that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder as a society if our youths are not trained and mentored to gain financial independence and be able to fend for themselves”. Ooni said
“I want to congratulate the beneficiaries and also urge them to make the best use of this opportunity, while I implore their parents and guardians to support their dreams and aspirations”, Ooni stressed.
Also in his remarks, the director of Ojaja Fashion Training Institute, Adeyanju Samuel commended the African foremost monarch for his youth development and empowerment agenda, describing him as a God’s unique gift to the world.
Adeyanju who explained that the institute has since its establishment by Ooni trained several professional fashion designers, saying this will go a long way drastically reducing the level of poverty in the society..
He noted that Hausa, Ibo, Yorubas and other tribes of Nigeria have benefitted from the one year free training. He thus urged other philanthropists to emulate Ooni for the good gesture towards the less privileged.
Adeyanju also praised International Breweries, makers of Trophy lager beer and supporters for their material and financial contributions towards the success of the institute.
Similarly, the National President Nigeria Union of Tailors, Comrade Wasiu Taiwo, praised Ooni Ogunwusi for being a saviour of this generation, lauding him on the project which he called first of its kind across the country especially coming from a traditional ruler.
While urging government to impact the citizenry with adequate dividends of democracy, Comrade Taiwo admonished the graduands to face their work and ensure that they develop their carrier to greater height.
Pledging to take fashion and tailoring profession to the next level, the national tailors union boss expressed the willingness of his union to partner with the Ooni on the project with a view to productively engaging the jobless youths. He also explained that such an initiative will help combat poverty, especially among Nigeria’s teeming youths most of whom are unemployed despite being educated.
Mrs Eniola Ali-Faweya, the Corporate Affairs Manager, International Breweries, lauded Ooni for his goodness towards the society. She advised the graduands to dedicate and disseminate effectively well what they have learnt and ensure they updated themselves globally through the internet.
Mrs Ali-Faweya pledged that the company would continue supporting Ooni in all his efforts to empower youth and beneficiaries of other initiatives of the monarch.
Miss Kehinde Adebiyi who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries applauded Ooni for transforming her life through the training and for setting her up with quality sewing machines.
Adebiyi said she was hopeless for she had no helper, but now Oba Ogunwusi had given her hope.
She promised to utilise the privilege wisely and urged other roaming about youths to find something tangible to do rather than wasting their brighter future.
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