WELCOME REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE
RT. HON. SIR. DR. ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON ON
THE OCCASION OF THE 18th ANNIVERSARY OF
AFRICAN YOUTH SOCIETY ON THURSDAY:
24TH JULY, 2008 AT CHELSEA HOTEL,
ABUJA – NIGERIA.
It gives me great pleasure to be given this unique opportunity to make an opening address on this auspicious occasion in the capacity of the Chairman at such a programme and a gathering of eminent citizens of our great nation.
2. I can recall a certain programme of the African Youth Society some time ago which attracted a lot of eminent Nigerians across the country and which featured the launching of the book: THE QUINTESSENTIAL PATRIOT, the Biography chronicled by the same Organization in celebration of the 60th Birthday of General, now Senator John Shagaya.
3. On that very occasion, I was fascinated by the large crowd of Nigerians that the African Youth Society was able to attract to grace it. It gave me the ample opportunity to attest to the popularity this Organization enjoys among Nigerians.
The support it received on that day in terms of attendance and financial support increased the impetus in me to give as much support as I can conveniently give the Organization. There can be no better support given to the African
Youth Society by me than not only to be present here today in person but also to either shift or outrightly cancel my earlier scheduled programme in accordance with the desire and wishes of the organizers of this great occasion.
I wish to reiterate my earliest commitment to this laudable Organization that it will continue to have my unalloyed support as long as the present leadership of African Youth Society continues to do the noble job of creating awareness and encouraging responsible response and good behavior of the African Youths.
The present leadership of AYS has worked so hard with its able team mates that they have jointly succeeded to awaken in our youths the need for them to be in the forefront of making concerted efforts to see that our great continent remains stable, peaceful and economically viable. I have come to learn that the Organization go as round the continent from time to time to meet youths in all the countries of Africa to discuss common and peculiar problems of the youths so as to find solutions to them without resorting to any form of negative and anti-social behaviours. This is highly commendable.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the quality of the Youths has always been a major determinant of the greatness and potentialities of a nation, and of course, a continent. Therefore, the programme we are witnessing today is one of the societal great expectations from a well-groomed set of African citizens drawn from various countries. We therefore thank you for all your efforts and desire to propel our continent to greater status. We, on our own, hereby promise and pledge to support the African Youth Society and serve it to the best of our abilities.
Those who are very conversant with the socio-political foundation of African would attest to the fact that the evolution of the continent emerged from the determinations and courage of our founding fathers to establish a common front for the future of our people.
Their efforts and hopes have effectively brought us to this present generation in which we have found ourselves. It is therefore our dream that the African Youth Society shall continuously move forward in this aspect and allow the entire world realize that Africa is no longer the Dark Continent it used to be seen and perceived.
9. May I therefore urge you and other African Youths wherever they may be on the face of the earth to come together and harness the potentialities of the continent and actualize the greatness we have all continued to yearn for. You must understand from this present stage that no amount of potentiality that has not been actualized has ever changed the status of any nation or people from under-developed to developed.
10. This you can do by avoiding such social evils as drug abuse, armed robbery, dishonesty, graft, examination malpractices, moral and material corruption.
No doubt, the Youths of any nation constitute the greatest percentage of its workforce. You are therefore in a vintage position to assist the governments of your home countries and the older generation of Africans by exposing those who are involved in activities that are retrogressive and likely to impugn on the integrity, orderliness, peace and the prosperity of our various countries.
11. Finally, I wish to congratulate the African Youth Society for its contributions in promoting harmony and peace among all the Youths of our great continent. Once again, I urge you to stand resolutely against all social, economic and political vices whose consequences could be so devastating to the corporate existence and good image of each African nation. You should resolve today to build positively on those youthful qualities, which fired on the founding fathers and patriots of your home countries and brought about our independence from the colonial masters.
12. I thank you, Officers and members of the African Youth Society for giving me this special opportunity to share my thoughts with you. We believe that you are pursuing a noble cause for which you deserve our support and full encouragement, most especially, now that the World Headquarters of the Organization moves to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thank you so much and God bless.