From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Deputy Chaplain of the Catholic Women Organisation Abuja Archdiocese (CWOAA) Abuja Province, Rev. Fr. Victor Ogunyemi, has urged Churches to commit more to the mentoring of young persons, stressing that when they are well guided the country will change for the better.
The Clergy gave the advise in Abuja while officially unveiling an ICT hub established by the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) Mater Dei Parish Gwagwalada, and named after him; “Rev. Fr. Victor Ogunyemi Youth Resource Centre” with blessings from the current Parish Priest of Mater Dei Fr. Richard Gberikon.
Fr. Ogunyemi was the Parish Priest in Mater Dei Catholic Church Gwagwalada from 2009-2015 and is presently the Priest in Charge of Saint Anthony Catholic Church Gbessa, airport road Abuja, who is well known for his passion for youth apostolate that made him to establish the “Inspire Youth Network Nigeria” in 2011 with members from different parts of the country.
Ogunyemi urged that the centre should be very engaging; a place of contact for impact to build young people, organise conferences, seminars, talks and resource for business, commercial activities and where souls are lifted.
He expressed worry that youths have no pride of place in Nigeria with poverty halting their progress and making them vulnerable to vices, adding that the few in leadership positions are not doing well by following the steps of past leaders rather than correcting their mistakes.
He therefore called on the government to provide enabling environment such as quality academic system for standard education for the youth to grow, stressing also the need for good renumeration for lecturers to mentor the youths adequately.
“As at today youths have no pride of place in Nigeria , they are not doing well especially in leadership, youths should correct mistakes of the past leaders but unfortunately they are following same path as the past leaders and this is not right.
“Government should not interfere with affairs of the youth, for example 60year old man as minister of sports is wrong. Youths should be given the opportunity in leadership to showcase their innovative capabilities as the world is becoming increasingly digital,” he urged.
The Priest further expressed gratitude to God for the honour of the centre being named after him after years of being transferred to another parish, assuring that he will continue to dedicate his time in mentoring the youths for impact.
“I am happy for this honour and I say to God be the glory. The reason the centre is named after me is not far fetch; while I was here I engaged in full time youth ministry because we explored every avenue of youth apostolate in terms of spiritual , social, sporting activities and empowerment programs
“We were there in all areas, sustained the CYON and we even went for exchange programs, excursions within my stay here. It was a time well used and engaging,” he said.
In his remarks, a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church Gbese, Abuja, who works at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria(CSN) Femi Emmanuel Adeojo, noted that Youths are living the realities of today which is that of a new civilisation that to some extent negates the presence of God; a society of same sex marriage, artificial intelligence superseding the intelligence God has given to man.
He challenged all on the need to pay more attention to young people, reorientate them to the ways of God as their focus and end of all actions.
Earlier, the CYON President, Chiaghanam Chukwuma Emmanuel, said the center as the name implies, is primarily focused on developing resourceful Youths within and outside the Church.
Emmanuel said the centre will focus on periodic trainings and boot camps on digital and soft skills which includes but not limited to Computer appreciation, computer Networking, graphics design, Website design, Web development, computer programming, Mobile Apps development, software engineering and lots more.
According to him, the Church in Nigeria, beyond providing the spiritual needs of the Youths, also needs to do more in the areas of capacity building, skills acquisition and empowerment of her Youths.
He also called on the government through the ministry of Youths and Sports to be intentional and proactive with it’s plans towards the development of Nigerian Youths, noting that the world is becoming more digital with each passing day; Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of all Things (IOT) Robotics, to mention a few.
“The role of Government and the Church in Youths development is indispensable. It has no alternative as the Youths needs to be an integral part of nation building. The minds of the Youths needs to be focused where the world is headed now through trainings, re-trainings and try engagements of young people in appropriate sectors and ministries.
“This will also ensure that the Youths are positively engaged and their attentions diverted from social vices which includes; fraud, drugs, prostitution, different forms of addictions, cyber crime and other social vices. The government through it’s policy making, should also providing an enabling environment for young business owners and entrepreneurs,” he said.
On the choice of name, he explained that Rev. Fr. Victor’s unflinching disposition towards nurturing and mentoring young minds in the areas of self discovery, capacity building, empowerment, resourcefulness, zeal and love for God with the ultimate aim being to develop a balanced Youth fit for the Youth apostolate, that birthed the resource center as you have it today.
“The name Rev. Fr. Victor Makinwa Ogunyemi, strikes a cord any time it is mentioned in and around Mater Dei Catholic Church Gwagwalada, and the Archdiocese of Abuja at large.
“Each time his name is mentioned, the next thing that comes to mind is his exploits with the Youths and his labours and sacrifices towards advancing the Youths apostolate, stemming from an indescribable passion and drive for the Youths and helping them become better. In fact, for me, the name is a Brand.
“So, the organization in her wisdom thought it wise to honour the progenitor of this idea, that is capable of transforming the minds and lives of people by naming the resource center after him. Hence the name, “Rev. Fr. Victor Ogunyemi CYON Resource Center,” he explained.