The Ijesa Global Alliance for Development (IGAD) which comprises of Ijesa sons and daughters at home and in diaspora has inducted 107 trainees in its digital hub.
The pioneer intakes in AI/Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, and UI/UX Design participated in the Induction/Orientation ceremony at a hybrid program, mixing Face-to-Face and remote attendees via a virtual zoom platform which took place at the Ijesha Digital Hub located at Olashore International School, Iloko-Ijesha, Osun State Nigeria on January 3, 2024, a program organized to sensitize fresh students to the activities of hub and the rules and regulations governing the programme to facilitate their participation in the exercise and to help ease their transition and put them on the road early to a successful start and completion.
Prince Abimbola Olashore · Chairman Of IGAD, in his Welcome Address appreciated the presence of dignitaries, particularly, the Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, HRM, Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe and the Oniwoye of Iwoye-Ijesa HRM Oba Adewumi Amos Ogidiolu Otokobo II, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi, Asiwaju of Ijesaland from whom IGAD tapped its inspiration.
Welcoming the inductees, Prince Abimbola reiterated the commitment of IGAD to train selected youth of Ijesaland to develop their digital skills so as to be able to actively participate in a digital society as such skills are becoming increasingly important.
In his welcome speech and introductions, Dr. Adewale Alonge, VP IGAD, Also, talked briefly about the history of AGAD as a nonprofit organization in the USA and a corporate member of the Ijesa Development Council (IDC).
He further explained that ljesha Digital Hub is one of the initiatives of IGAD. The mission of ljesha Digital Hub is to empower the youth of ljeshaland with digital and technological skills, ultimately fostering economic empowerment within the community.
“ljesha Digital Hub envisions transforming ljeshaland into a global center of excellence and an innovation hub for the Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship.” He said
The President of Ijesa Development Council (IDC), Mr. Supo Shadiya enjoined the incoming students to always abide by the rules and regulations of the hub and constantly show good character.
“You must have the right attitude, you are at the beginning of a history, the ball is in hands, what you make of it is your hands.” Shadiya said as he congratulated the inductees
The highpoint of the induction ceremony was the keynote speech delivered by Dr. Olusola Sayeed Ayoola, Founder Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Nigeria (RAIN) with the theme, “Importance of Mind-Shift for Success in the Digital Economy” wherein he appreciated the selflessness and sacrifices that have come with establishment of the digital hub. “This is a step in the right direction. On behalf of illustrious sons and daughters of ljeshaland, myself being one, let me say thank you for this laudable initiative.” He said in the introductory part of his presentation.
Dr. Ayoola who resolved to return to Nigeria, after some 7 years in the UK shared his experiences with the hope that they may inspire the inductees to greatness.
“I am very much aware of how much many Nigerians would happily pay to be granted an opportunity as that which I have decided to let go so easily. I am very much in the know of how tough life in Nigeria is.
“Rome was not built in a day’, is the quote we always hear. What we are never told is that the Romans actually stayed behind to build it.
“1 believe Nigeria needs me and you. I believe the knowledge we have acquired from overseas should be brought back to develop Nigeria. I believe what we lack is good leadership and responsible follower-ship.
“If Nigeria be great in my lifetime, then it is up to me. If not, then so be it. But I would not be in another man’s country, reaping the fruit of the labour of founding fathers that stayed behind to fix it.
“We can talk about why I started RAIN and how it has supported the government and businesses, as well as the foreign recognitions and impact today.
“Today, we live in a digital world. Countries are now transiting into the digital economy. Economies built solely on crude oil, gold and so on are becoming challenged…..
“Therefore, the world has become competitive and for any nation to remain formidable, the people must be globally competitive.
“lf we do not achieve a mind-shift, we will struggle in the midst of plenty. We will have the human resources but not the impact.” He remarked
Thereafter and amidst noticed deep attentiveness of the inductees, some distinguished guests and Exco members of IGAD shared their personal stories in their goodwill messages.
Alhaji Lateef Bakare, in his words of encouragement, delved into the intricacies of qualifying as a Chattered Accountant in the 70s. You must determine to succeed. He urged the inductees
Dr. Adewale Obadare using the virtual zoom platform, described the induction ceremony as a memorable day for Ijesaland. It is a great opportunity for our youth to bridge the poverty gap as he encouraged the new trainees to be Determined, Dedicated and Disciplined.
Other contributors that felicitated with the inductees in their goodwill messages included, Chief Mrs Dupe Ajayi Gbadebo, Pastor Laitan Obileye, Dr. Babatunde Ojo and Sir Ademola Aladekomo.
The National Chairman of National Council of Egbe Omo Obokun of Ijesaland, North America, Dr. Chief Femi Oshobukola commended the leadership quality of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi, the Asiwaju of Ijesaland at piloting of the economic development in Ijesaland, referring to the 2019 Ijesa Development Symposium at Maryland, Atlanta, USA, at which Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi mandated the council to think of what they could give back to Ijesa people which eventually resulted in to the creation of AGAD.
In the same vein, Dr. Busayo Awe, the initiator of Daniel Adewole Awe Medical centre, a world class healthcare facilities in Iwaraja, Oriade local government, Osun State, remarked that “Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi gave the mandate and it is happening”
Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi in his goodwill message identified the induction ceremony as another first of its kind initiated by Ijesa sons and daughters for the benefit and betterment of its youth force. “The government of all tiers could not take care of almost 150 million population of Nigeria youth as he referred to the recent Federal Government first phase of the 3 Million Technical Talent program. “We are the first community in Nigeria to have this kind of initiative. What you are starting comes with a responsibility. Explore the opportunities you are offered to become the next set of millionaires. You must remember Ijesaland and you must be prepared to pay back, to show responsibility by helping others in the community. He charged the inductees
The Executive Director of IGAD, Dr. Cornelius Adewale elaborated on the rudiments to the selection of the final list of 170 pioneer students out of the 250 applicants and he also highlighted on the plans of IGAD for students who successfully completed the 3-month duration course to certification as some will be awarded scholarships to continue the processes abroad.
“Life is not about making money but about making values. You can be the ambassadors that can change the trend in Ijesaland.” The Director remarked as he advised the fresh inductees
The fresh students also were given the opportunity to express their appreciations through two of their representatives as they promised to make best use of the opportunity.
Concluding the brief talk session with the students during the occasion, Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, HRM, Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe, remarked on the significance of good tidings coming to Ijesaland during the reign of HIM Oba Adekunle Aromolaran II CFR LLD, he also mentioned his predecessor, late Oba Oladele Olashore for providing the platform as he thanked his family for keeping the ball of progress rolling. In like manners, he appreciated the legendary achievements of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi.
Turning to the pioneer beneficiaries of IGAD Ijesa Media Hub, Oba Ogungbangbe said;
“It’s incumbent on you to leverage on the opportunities that have been given to you. To make yourself relevant in the Committee of Ijesa people, the only way is to get to that stage of certification.
“May Almighty God bless everybody that has the heart of developing Ijesaland and all the people that believe that uplifting the standard of Ijesa people is their personal object and subject.”
Oladimeji Lasore(KakaKiOodua Media)