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Youths are like sprouting yam tendrils that need close tendering – Princess Ofodile



Youths are like sprouting yam tendrils that need close tendering – Princess Ofodile

Princess Nkechi Roseline Ofodile is an accomplished educationist and an expert in Law Enforcement and Criminal justice. Her training as a teacher and disciplinarian led her to develop a deep concern for youths. This informed her establishment of the ‘Beaming Youth for Reorientation and Development Initiative (BYI), to redirect and guide the youth who are caught in the web of family and external pressures. Elizabeth Egbanubi writes


She is one of those who strongly believe that we are the change we seek. She has demonstrated that many times as a Commandant in the Federal Road Safety Corps where she worked and retired voluntarily, and as one of the leaders of the Catholic Women in Abuja Archdiocese. Piqued by the many issues affecting the Nigerian youth, she decided to take the bull by the horn again and guide the teaming youth to excellence through her BYI programme.

Ofodile, whose inspiration stems from her background as a trained teacher and disciplinarian, observed that the youth constitutes a critical segment of the nation’s demography, but unfortunately, are very vulnerable.
“The truth is that our teaming youths seem to be caught up in a web of all kinds of family and external pressures, thereby requiring a redirection and proper guidance, else they would lose focus and end up in abysmal failure.

They are like the sprouting yam tendril that needs close tendering; otherwise, they would be cut off from the seed yam and get damaged. The BYI therefore provides a humble palliative to subtly and consistently reset the mind-set of the younger generation to enable them progressively achieve their dream and succeed in life. A nation that cannot rely on the capacity and capability of her youth to take over her future political and national affairs is doomed,” she said.

The President of the Catholic Women Organization in St Benedict’s Catholic Church in Abuja, Ofodile said, “the major challenge facing the youth is basically lack of proper family orientation on one hand, and the apparent erosion of positive societal core values, and government’s inability to initiate a lasting strategy towards tackling youth issues.”

According to her, this accounts for the perceived massive youth derailment situation bedeviling most African Countries, Nigeria inclusive. “BYI therefore seeks to elicit in the youths, the attribute of self-worth, which would help them look inward and discover their innate passion/potentials, in order to harness and develop same, earn a living there from, and then attain self-actualization and fulfilment in life.”

A retired commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Ofodile knows the importance of discipline in the upbringing of children who would be leaders of tomorrow. She hopes to set up a centre where the main objective would be to catch them young.
“My big dream is to be able to set up a youth centre that would be easily accessible to every youth for counselling and Mentoring. I also look forward to creating a widely accepted platform for the youths to freely express their views on the general issues affecting them and which are frequently discussed wherever youths gather, with a view to proffering solutions to such anxieties.”

In her words, “BYI hopes to achieve this thrust, by employing the various platforms of activities to re-orientate youths, beginning from immediate environment and spreading across the nation and even beyond through Competitions (Cognitive / Sports), Discovery Activity Fora, Focus Group Discussion Sessions, Reality Shows, Trainings, Workshops Counselling and Mentoring Sessions, Talk Shows, Dance and Drama, Talent Connect programmes, among others.”

She said the programmes are intended to legitimately engage youths in gainful projects, which would also keep them away from crime and criminality thereby empowering them to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of Nigeria.
According to her, BYI is collaborating with a good number of other NGOS that have relevance with youth concerns. They are already approaching government agencies for credibility and support.

The fourth daughter of late Igwe Ignatus and Mrs Cristiana Onyeneme Ofobuike, Ezeora 1 of Umuchu), Nkechi is married to Chief George Chukwuneke (jnr) Offodile, ( Igwe 2), from Umuayom Village, Amenyi Awka, Anambra State; her blue blood and royalty did not becloud her sense of charity and hard work. She is ready to roll her sleeves and do whatever needs to be done to make Nigeria better for the next generation. She calls on all parents to do their part in educating and guiding their children aright.

“I believe that every child is a potential achiever given the right foundation and equal opportunity. The family, which is the first micro society the youth is born into, is a major stakeholder in this regard. If the lager society and government could make conscious effort to ensure that the younger generation receives an all-round education and the required proper guidance, of course, they can venture into, not just the political space, but any other field of human endeavour and perform creditably well.”
She encouraged Parents, family to find time to monitor their children no matter what the economic situation presents.

“The parents should be able to allot quality time to the upbringing of the young ones because, foundation is key. If we do not get it right at foundational level, then, we may never get it right at all. The Government on their part should formulate policies and legislations that will help the child to grow and develop into a responsible patriotic adult.”
Reacting to the problem of insecurity in the nation and the involvement of the youths, the princess said that the government should do all within their power to tackle insecurity head on.
“No amount of effort committed to youth issues can be said to be adequate.

Therefore, there is a need for all hands to be on deck. There should be massive reorientation of the youth by NGOs, government agencies, family, individuals, Churches and Mosques and indeed, everybody. This will redirect our derailing teaming youth to embrace right values and reduce the trend of insecurity in the country.”
On the recent abduction of over a hundred Dapchi girls from their school recently, the ‘mother of all’, as she is fondly called, said that it is saddening and very unfortunate.
“It is very unfortunate. Here we are again, faced with a near hopeless situation where by, the basic education of our young women, who would have turned out to be legitimate wives and home makers, good mothers and character tutors, professionals in their various chosen fields of human endeavour; would be coming to an abrupt end.
“I believe that government can do better in their resolve to rescue both the remaining old set and this new one and salvage the situation in the north east for good.

The implication is that their dreams and aspirations have now been truncated. The abduction is a clear case of violence against women and children, a violence against civilization, and must be condemned in its totality. Frankly speaking, the scenario portends serious catastrophe for the future of our nation.
“We in Beaming Youths For Reorientation And Development Initiative, hope and pray that these girls be rescued, re-joined with their families, and re orientated accordingly, so they can contribute their humble quota to the growth and development of our dear country,” Ofodile said, commending the military for their gallantry in the fight against insurgency.

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