Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in the state of Osun has again empowered fresh set of 20, 000 youths under the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES).
Aregbesola had early 2011 absolved the first 20, 000 OYES cadets to mark his 100 days in office, while another 20, 000 youths were also empowered in 2013.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 4thbatch of the OYES cadets in Osogbo on Saturday, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo commended Aregbesola for his thoughtfulness in establishing OYES to meaningfully engage youths in the state.
Professor Osinbajo said the OYES scheme has gone a long way in positively turning around the lives of many youths who would have engaged in social vices and cause problems for the society at large.
He said the take off of other similar programmes like the YESSO and N-power were all hinged on the success recorded by the OYES in Osun, stressing that the programme has now become a household programme.
“When the APC won the presidential elections, we decided that we must do something to engage the youths and we decided to sturdy the OYES programme of Osun and the result is the N-power of today under the federal government.
“This is the way all governments should go, we must find a means of keeping the youths busy with meaningful engagements just like Aregbesola is doing in Osun.
“This may be small in the eyes of some people, but the peace and security being enjoyed in Osun today is because the government have engaged the youths positively. If our youths have something meaningful to do with their lives, crime rate in the society will reduce significantly.”
Urging the newly inaugurated cadets to be useful, not only to themselves but the entire country, the Vice President said no country in the world can move forward without disciplined youths.
He charged them to see the opportunity as the beginning of greatness which they must embrace and use judiciously to better their lives.
He said: “All of you who are the latest batch of this wonderful scheme should look at yourself as not just having a duty to your own self alone but to your state and the entire country, we cannot build this country without your discipline.
“We are looking forward to your leadership and your greatness, we are looking up to you to provide a good future for our country because we believe in you. The training you have been made to go through in the past three weeks should drive you to greatness.
“In you we know that we will have great political leaders, great professionals, great entrepreneurs and so on and so forth. We are strongly hoping that you will not let the state and the country down.”
Delivering an address titled: “OYES, From Glory To Glory” Governor Aregbesola charged all governments to give major priority to the engagement of the youths because they take a larger percentage of the population of any given space.
He said youths in the society must be given a new orientation and direction about life so that the larger society will be better for it, stressing that the contribution of the youths to the growth and development of the society cannot be overemphasized.
Aregbesola explained that the outgoing administration decided to engage the last batch of cadets under his government because of the promise he made earlier in the year and not because it is financially convenient to do at this time.
The governor said: “We are doing this at this time not because it is financially convenient; we are doing it because we are a party that keep to our promises. I have made the announcement since the beginning of the year that before my tenure ends another batch of OYES would be engaged.
“Despite our lean economic resources, we are keeping to our promises, the youths constitute the largest number of any society and so they should not be left idle and this is for the sake of the Nigeria.
“And we are so happy that we are getting the results we intend to get from the scheme. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Osun is one of the leading states with the lowest crime rate in the country.
“We are proud of this feat because as you can see here, these youths are happy and ready to go. They have trained to imbibe discipline, hard work and dedication; these are the qualities which must be found in a youth who wants to excel in life.”