CEDECOM, an Abuja based non Governmental Organization has also secured the technical partnership of O’jez Entertainment Limited to drive the initiative that was flagged off last week with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU by the parties.
Founder of CEDECOM, Mr. Prosper Okafor in a statement revealed what gave birth to the idea. “The level and dimension of security concerns and challenges confronting our peace as a nation is unheard of in over 50 years of our independence. The youths have been identified as the key actors as a result of their enormous strength, ability to dare anything, high risk behaviors, willing tools in the hands of the enemies of our fatherland, to mention a few. To achieve a reversal, the youths must also be at the forefront; hence the birth of this project idea tagged National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security. The project is therefore conceived to seek a reversal to the growing trend of insecurity in Nigeria with special focus on youths in a competitive manner. As we know, the youths like engaging in competitions,” Okafor, an Engineer who is popularly called ‘Okada Professor’ said.
The anchor of ‘’Okada Mata’’, a weekly live magazine program on Crowder Radio Love 104.5 FM, Abuja and initiator of Federal Capital Territory Enhanced Security, Crime & Accident Prevention Program (a.k.a. FCT ESCAP Program) with special focus on Okada riders revealed why CEDECOM decided to take up the challenge. “Focused NGOs like CEDECOM-Nigeria, are known for complementing and supporting the efforts of governments, state and non-state actors in numerous ways. The primary objective of CEDECOM-Nigeria, which I, Engineer Prosper Okafor founded, is to contribute to our nation building, just as we have been doing since inception. The National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security is one of the initiatives of CEDECOM-Nigeria.”
And what does CEDECOM-Nigeria hopes to achieve with the National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security? “Peace is what we are looking at. Where there is Peace, there is unity and progress. We shall succeed in engaging millions of Nigerian youths to shun hostility, wanton killings, communal and religious crises, and other related vices dragging us backward. The project shall enlist our teaming youths to become Peace Ambassadors, Peace Preachers, Peace Speakers, Peace Evangelists, hence leading to enhanced security across the federation. The National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security is also aimed at creating opportunity for talented youths to showcase their skills and abilities, actualize their dreams, and become self reliant in various sectors of the Nigeria economy. The project shall assist the youth in laying solid foundation for their personal growth, leadership development, personality investment, cultural exchanges, community development and security networking among other things.
This Project is also designed to create wealth, reduce unemployment and crimes among youths. It shall provide competitive activities to keep the youth off the streets and above all, convert them to “security personnel” through the upcoming National Youth Community Security Network (NYCSN) and the Civil Society on Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria (CIPSCRIN) enshrined in the project.”
The Okada Professor as he fondly likes to be called spoke on the reported endorsement the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development. “The federal government’s endorsement of the project through her Youth and Sports Development Ministry is a clear signal that the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, is focused and determined to ensure lasting peace and enhanced security across Nigeria. It is also a pointer that the government recognizes the ability of serious minded NGOs like CEDECOM-Nigeria to contribute their quota in our national development. Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, under the leadership of Barrister Solomon Dalung, has numerous pivotal roles to play, which include: inauguration of the National Implementation and Advisory Committee, whose members are drawn from relevant MDAs and CSOs including security agencies; bringing and ensuring that all 36 states youth ministries across the federation are fully involved; rendering necessary technical assistance to CEDECOM-Nigeria and her partners, among other things.”
On CEDECOM’s relationship with O’jez Entertainment, Mr. Okafor said: “There is a popular saying that “Two Good Heads are better than one”. CEDECOM-Nigeria and O’jez Entertainments are two great partners driving together the National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security. CEDECOM-Nigeria is a known focused NGO reaching and touching lives in numerous positive ways across Nigeria. O’jez is an entertainment outfit and a major stakeholder in the hospitality industry engaged in the promotion of youth talents through music production, sports, mentoring and sponsorship. The duo of CEDECOM-Nigeria and O’jez Entertainments have covenanted to work as partners towards the successful implementation and delivery of this laudable and timely project tagged “National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security.”
The National Youth Talent Hunt For Peace & Security is broken into many components and the drivers are kicking off with the Nigeria Peace Song & Dance Competition. "The wide, enviable and rare experience of our Chief Technical Partner, O’jez Entertainments, has made us to unbundle the National Youth Talent Hunt for Peace & Security into six unique independent components to enable participation of more youths. The components include: National/State/Regional Youth Security Summits; Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP); Nigeria Youth Soccer Championship Program; Nigeria Peace Song & Dance Competition (NPSDC); National Youth Cultural Festival (NYCF); Nigeria Youth Peace Award (NYPA). We have critically looked at all the components and have agreed to take-off with the Nigeria Peace Song & Dance Competition."
The Nigeria Peace Song & Dance Competition (NPSDC) for young Nigerian singers and dancers is one of the activities designed to create awareness for enhanced peace and security in Nigeria with the active participation of Nigeria youth using music as medium and platform. The NPSDC shall provide great opportunities for talented singers and dancers to achieve their dreams in the music and entertainment industry both within and outside Nigeria. The Winner of the competition, Okafor revealed shall be rewarded with a Three Million Naira (N3,000,000) recording contract and Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) cash award. He or she shall perform alongside other top Nigerian artists at the Nigeria Peace Concert.”
Okafor called on well meaning Nigerians to come on board and join hands with CEDECOM and its partners to drive this initiative. "It’s all about Peace and Security and you know as much as I do that security is everybody’s business. We call on talented youths to visit the project website, Facebook and twitter accounts for more information on registration and enrolment. Individuals and groups can enroll. Just go to our site at www.nationalyouthtalenthunt.org to complete your forms, upload your songs, photographs and other images as required. Talented youths can also do same on our Facebook page at www.facebook/nationalyouthtalenthunt."
On the sponsorship drive for the project, the initiator said: "We have engaged Excellent Marketers and Brand Ambassadors who have started approaching good spirited corporate bodies and philanthropic individuals for sponsorships. We are also hopeful that the federal and state governments shall respond with both cash and kind donations."