… As Three-Day Residential Workshop For Boys Kicks Off In Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday inspired young boys to become change agents, underscoring the crucial need to nurture the next generation of leaders capable of driving meaningful societal change.

The Governor, while addressing over 250 young boys from different public and private schools during the official opening session of the three-day residential workshop organised by the Lagos Boy Child Initiative of the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State, said that the workshop will further empower the young boys to become proactive leaders in their communities.

Sanwo-Olu highlighted the critical roles that young boys occupy in the future of Lagos and Nigeria at large, urging them to embrace the values of responsibility, integrity, and community service.

“Leadership is not about positions or titles, but about making a positive impact and inspiring others. We are here to equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become change agents who can tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow”, the Governor stated.

The Governor also stressed the importance of education, resilience, and empathy in leadership, just as he encouraged the boys to take full advantage of the various sessions of the workshops which include sessions on leadership development, civic engagement and personal growth.

In the same vein, the Governor’s wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who is the host and initiator of the Lagos Boy Child Initiative, explained that the rationale behind the concept is to raise awareness on the rights and welfare of the boy child.

She added that the initiative will also promote educational opportunities for male children, especially the indigent and also facilitate the rehabilitation of the vulnerable boy child through referrals.

While expressing the hope of building a new generation of transformed male children who will contribute positively to society, the First Lady thanked the Governor for sharing his personal childhood experience with the boys.

Espousing the theme for the 2024 Lagos Boy Child Initiative, “Awakening The Boy Child Towards Becoming A Change Agent”, the wife of the Governor said that by addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by the boy child, we can foster a more balanced and effective approach to combatting societal ills.

She added: “We all must live with the consciousness that our boys are not just the future leaders but they are leaders of today, innovators and pillars of our communities. Early training and proper grooming are essential for their development, ensuring they grow into responsible and enlightened adults. This continuous enlightenment programme is designed to instil values, resilience, and a sense of purpose in our boys, preparing them for the diverse challenges of the 21st century”.

One of the Facilitators at the opening session of the workshop, held at Lagos House, Marina, Dr. Ngozi Anthonia Madubuike, Asst. Commander, Gen. Narcotics, NDLEA, (Director, Drug Demand Reduction Directorate), advised the young boys to join the anti-Drug Abuse Clubs and Associations like WADA Club, Boys Scout, Sports Group etc

Speaking further on “The Role of Boys in Combating the Menace of Drug Abuse”, the NDLEA boss urged the school children to resist Peer Pressure, Be assertive and have a mind of their own.

In her words, “Seek medical help when necessary: Avoid self-medication, Keep a well-balanced life Stand up for others: Be an advocate of peace, avoid bullying others, and be responsible young boys”.

Also, another Facilitator and Head, Community Engagement Officer & Kings Club Programme Officer, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), Mr. Damilare Adewusi counselled the boys on “Sex and Gender-Based Violence & Positive Masculinity”.

While urging the young boys to stay away from Premature Sexual relationships and focus on their studies, Adewusi emphasised the importance of positive masculinity, encouraging the boys to adopt attitudes and behaviours that promote respect and equality.

He highlighted how positive masculinity can contribute to reducing instances of gender-based violence and foster healthier relationships.