By Grace Alegba
The Yoruba Youth Assembly (YYA), an umbrella body of Yoruba youth groups globally, has appealed to Nigerian youths to lead campaigns for protection and preservation of indigenous languages, cultural heritage and identities.
Mr. Olarinde Thomas, president of the group, which has 38 affiliates in Nigeria and the Diaspora, made the call in a statement on Monday in Lagos.
Thomas said that YYA made the appeal during its conferment of award on Mr Taiwo Alli, an industrialist, nationalist and culture ambassador in Lagos.
The YYA president stressed the need for Nigerian youths to re-awaken the African consciousness of the next generation through protection and preservation of the nation’s values, culture and languages.
“As we develop within our democratic dispensation in Nigeria, it is important that the youth be fully involved in the task of societal development and consolidation of the achievements being recorded in our urban sector.
“As youths who are the most active and vital force in the society; we are the most eager to learn and the least conservative in their thinking.
“It is, therefore, of the utmost urgency that a framework be put in place to harness and bring into full play the energy of our youths in the task of transforming our tribe and nation into a truly developing one,” he said.
He commended Alli for being a uniting force understanding the core values and aspirations of the youth and their “quest for unity, peace, prosperity, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence.”
He commended Alli for being a culture ambassador, doing his best to promote the Yoruba values and heritage, describing him as a great nationalist.
Thomas also thanked the recipient of the award for providing leadership in education; IT and property sector and being a role model for youths aspiring for greatness.
The YYA President lamented that the colonial rule introduced western ideologies into governance to whittle down the powers and relevance of the traditional rulers and also made them subservient to the educated elite.
He called for protection of the nation’s rich cultural heritage and, values which were daily being eroded, urging youths to lead the campaign to change the narrative.
On his part, Alli, Chairman/CEO, Clifton Homes, who is also the Managing Director, Twin Tech Services Ltd., thanked the leadership of YYA for counting him worthy to receive the award.
He pledged his continued support for YYA as well as youth empowerment and training in the South West.