By Lizzy Okoji
The West African Students Union Parliament (WASUP) has given an award to Mr Moses Okezie, Director, Research and Development to the Kogi State Government, for fostering nation-building and youth leadership.
The ECOWAS Students Group presented the award of “Icon of Nation Building” to Okezie at a ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja, describing him as a Pan Africanist, whose efforts had contributed to Nigeria’s development.
The Majority Leader of WASUP, Mr Autine Kaussi, said that the group had watched keenly the role of Okezie under Gov. Yahaya Bello’s leadership and found him worthy to be celebrated like other Pan Africanist.
“We are here today to appreciate your contribution to the development of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“People think it is only old people and elders that can make Africa great but today we want to tell you that the youths are the leaders of today, not tomorrow.
“Why we are here is because we choose you as a Pan Africanist, as our Mentor, our Father and we wish to partner with you and follow your march to make Africa great.
“Because we know how Pan Africanists like Nelson Mandela, Nnamdi Azikiwe really fought for the development of Africa. We want to tell you that you are one of them and we choose you like Nelson Mandela.
“A tree cannot make a forest and we also appreciate the collaboration of other members of your team that has led to your success,” Kaussi said.
Responding, Okezie appreciated the West African Student’s Parliament for finding him worthy of the Award, dedicating the award to his Principal, Gov. Yahaya Bello, for giving him the platform to render his service.
Okezie said that the role of youths in getting the desired change in Nigeria could not be overemphasized, noting the Kogi had gotten it right through adequate youth representation in governance.
He added that the New Direction Team of Gov. Yahaya Bello prides itself on service to humanity, a service it is delivering very practically and tangibly.
He also noted that “Nigeria’s desired can be gotten if Bello is given the opportunity to apply the Kogi State Strategy to Nigeria’s nation-building come 2023.
“The government in Kogi is predominantly run by youths. 70 per cent of the commissioners, appointees and other cabinet members are youths within the ages of 35 to 40 and they have been very impactful.
“Today in Nigeria, Kogi State is leading in the reduction of under-five mortality, it was not like that before his Excellency took over.
“Today, the Kogi State government is leading in the country on the reduction of domestic debt, because one of the problems with Nigerians is how much debt the country has gone into,” he said.
While quoting the National Bureau of Statistics, he said that Kogi was leading the country in the reduction of debt, the safest State in the country, which was previously one of the most unsafe states in Nigeria.
“Kogi is leading the country in the reduction of out-of-school children. We know that out-of-school children are what leads to the Alimanjiri phenomenon, which is also the recruiting ground for Boko Haram and other criminals.
“The state has been adjudged by the World Bank and other credible Institutions as the most transparent and accountable.
“There is a lot happening there and when I get an award like this for the role I have played as D-G Research and Development and Head of the Strategist Team, it is what my Principal is doing that is bringing some of us to the limelight,” he said.
According to him, if we can shoot Nigeria to meet her potentials, the rest of Africa will follow suit. It is important to get Nigeria right in a journey to getting Africa right.
“Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, Africa’s largest population, largest everything and if it is not doing well, the entire sub-region will bear the brunt.
“In the journey to get leadership right, Gov. Yahaya Bello is the right choice for Nigeria come 2023,” Okezie said. (NAN)