My experience at the maiden NVCF is one that will last me a life time. On one part, it’s joyful to be seated with people who influence the polity in the nation and even beyond but much more insightful to learn from them.
The first guest speaker at the fellowship class was Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, a woman in a woman. With her age, experience, leadership attributes and zeal for development of a total nation, she’s easily one of the few Nigerians that could have merited the stage. Her choice of words are easily understandable and resonating to discerning minds and everyone was ready to learn from her. With her imposing figure and beautiful smile, it was easy to turn the lecture into a discussion. For her part, delivery of the key addresses were as expected, she proved to us why we as young Nigerians need to do more to salvage this nation.
The tea break gave an opportunity to many of the RNV members to share contacts and get familiar, it was also an opportunity to thank Professor Remi Sonaiya for the knowledge she had just impacted and photographs were taken for memory, it was really a memorable event.
After the tea break was the second part of the class, and speaking was Mr. Hamzat Lawal, an astute young Nigerian with a thirst for transparency and accountability in governance. He introduced himself with a warm smile and easily became friends with everyone. His comical looks answered most of the rhetorical questions that his “stories” provoked. For most part of the discussion session, the keenness on the subject matter and participation of all the RNV members was at the optimum and it’s easy to understand why. Hamzat can be said to have challenged many of us and I don’t think there’s anyone else who is more influenced than myself.
There was a fantastic lunch break afterwards and everyone was served their meal choices, we can’t thank Aunty Judith and her foundation enough for the meals.
The third session had Hamzat Lawal dissecting his journey through the heart of the north and the despairing conditions young Nigerians are made to live on. There were emotions in the air for the videos of his exploits in Bagega and Shikira in Niger and Zamfara states respectively through his 4llowTheMoney campaign which he said is gradually spreading across Africa. The sufferings of the people was brought to fore and his exploits even increased the interest of members in the possibility of a new Nigeria.
The fellowship is a good initiative of Raising New Voices and it’s not just about raising voices anymore, it’s time to ACT.
Akinpelu Abiola H.