Saturday, October 5, 2019


The 2nd Annual Public Lecture and Yoruba Icon Awards of the Oodua Youth Coalition (OYC) was held today, October 4th, 2019, at the Heritage Continental Hotel, Akure. It had in attendance the Aagbaka of Alagbaka, His Eminence Afolabi Obasuyi Rt. Hon. Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly represented by Hon Kemisola Ajibola  Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Ondo State represented by State Director of Youth,  Chairman Ondo State Radiovision Corporation represented by Mrs Alewi  Director of Programmes    Hon. Dayo Awude, former Ondo Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Banke Sutton, Politician and former Head, Ondo Microcredit Agency.

The lecture was delivered by the Guest Speaker, the renowned author, historian, writer, journalist and columnist, Chief Dare Babarinsa.

The participants span across different divides amongst Yoruba youths. National Association of Ondo State Students, National Association of Nigerian Students, pupils from Aquinas College, Akure, youth groups, civil society organizations, young politicians and human and girl child right activists.

In his welcome address, the National President of OYC, Tayo Akintade Oluyi, highlighted this year's theme and did justice to the menace. Moral Decadence Amongst Oodua Youth; The Way Out. He pointed out the regionalization of crimes and social vices and regretted that Yoruba youth have been tagged internet fraudsters, drug abusers, ritualists, robbers and kidnappers. He was worried this could threaten the future of the land and concluded it's as a result of a failing society where both the youth and elders have thrown caution to the wind.

He could not believe the renaming of our beautiful language as vernaculars in public and private schools across Yoruba land is still ongoing. He wondered why the speaking of Yoruba remains banned in some schools in Yoruba land while countries in Europe and the Americas are teaching the language and have even officially declared it a national language. He concluded OYC will not wait till some unofficial rules from some mypoic leaders and governments totally destroy the heritage and culture of the land.

He pointed out his fear that a Yoruba girl no longer kneels for her father and her brother doesn't prostrate for the mother anymore and criticized giving our children foreign, meaningless names. He sealed his welcome address with the quote of Prof. Charles Soludo, who days ago charged the youth 'to challenge the status quo and stop complaining'.

In his lecture delivered, Chief Babarinsa decried the rising population in Nigeria and wondered why we won't use this as an asset and not a burden. He queried the continuous use of foreign materials by the youth and wondered when they'd get the needed and required skills to start manufacturing their own clothing materials, shoes, food and even medications.

He pointed out the unusual consideration of quick fix as the bedrock of the moral decadence in our societies. The urge to make quick money has pushed our youth to drug use, attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, robberies in foreign lands and even trafficking of humans and drugs.

He queried the dearth and death of our age-long tenets of decency, hard work, dignity, integrity and all Omoluabi virtues. Why would parents not question the sudden wealth of their children! He cited the Ijesha people who were very proficient in electronic and automobile merchandising and wondered what happened to that business acumen of Yoruba youth.

The Guest Speaker then proffered solutions to the declining morals in the society and to cap it all, he urged the Yoruba nation to create a SouthWest Development Authority, a central body that will see to the infrastructural development of Yorubaland. He suggested the building of a good six or ten lane roads that will link all the state capitals in the Southwest including Ilorin and Lokoja. The body will be backed by law passed by each House of Assembly. It will also be in charge of rail line, airports and even electricity. He said the Federal Government has failed in its duties and cited the stalled rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for almost 20 years now, a distance of only 100 kilometers.

Amongst his solutions, Chief Babarinsa wants schools that will build the competence of the youth be created where they will learn critical trade like plumbing, carpentry, automobile mechanics and other vocational skills.

He also wants good education for the teeming youth. Anyone willing and able to have education should not be denied. Teachers should be trained and retrained both at home and abroad and suggested that their promotions should be based on competence and capacity and not solely on number of years in service.

Language of Instructions was one of the solutions suggested by Chief Babarinsa. He called on the governments in Southwest to make Yoruba a compulsory  language of instruction for both primary and secondary schools. English should be treated as a subject that should be learnt in school. He cited Japan and India as the countries where they promote their native languages and are now super powers.

To reduce crime and moral decadence in the society, Chief Babarinsa wants youth employment be given utmost priority, warning that unemployment is the root of social vices today.

He also advised we change our mode and means of recruiting leaders in our electoral system, lamenting an expensive and conscienceless political system that throws up those who could go to any length to raise money to win elections. Any man who sold his mother to win elections can also sell the country when he gets to power.

In his conclusion, the guest speaker noted that the creates weapon to combat moral decadence is to embrace the philosophy of hard work and dignity of labour.

Earlier, other invited guests have aired their opinions on the theme. While some heaped the blame on the youth, some faulted the parents and the society for failing the youth.

Aagbaka of Alagbaka, His Eminence Afolabi Obasuyi blame the society for expecting too much from the youth while denying them many opportunities of life. He said he was already commanding a platoon in the military at the age of 21 in the UK. He also urged the youth to take the bull by the horns and demand for their inclusion in the decision making in Nigeria.

The National Publicity Secretary of OYC, Oluwagbenga Ajongbolo, gave the vote of thanks and wished everyone journey mercies back to their respective locations.

Oluyi Akintade Tayo

Ajongbolo Oluwagbenga
Publicity Secretary

Akomolafe Abiodun
Local Organising Committee Chairman.

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