Excerpt of the Bells University Parents’ Forum (BUPF) 4th Annual Seminar Series held at the university Multi-Purpose Hall on Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017.
A one- day seminar was organized by the Bells University Parent Forum (BUPF) to mark her 4th Annual Seminar series. It was titled: “Being a Productive Youth in a Challenging Economy”. The venue was Bells University Multi-Purpose Hall. In attendance were, The Vice Chancellor; Professor Jeremiah Ojediran, the Deputy Vice Chancellor; Professor Ikuforiji and other top management members of the university, the guest speakers, ; Mr. Teju”Babyface” Oyelakin and Dr.Peter Onifade of Ditokebi Adolescent and Youth Centre, the Chairman of the BUPF Mr. Clement Obot, and other officials of the BUPF. Others include: Dr.& Dr. Mrs Bello, Heads of Departments , staff members, students of the university and other guests.
The first speaker, Mr. Oyelakin , illustrated his teaching with his life story. He spoke about the challenges he faced in his academic which stemmed from his inability to identify any tangible goal or career to pursue to poor academic challenges. He explained how he meandered into acting by merely enjoying his pastime. He was later discovered by Tade ogidan who featured him in his popular film Diamond Ring; and that brought him into limelight. He thereafter mentioned three major ways of discovering talents:
i) Identifying what interest you: there must be something that you enjoy doing during your free time. This may not have anything to do with your course of study in school.
ii) Identifying your hero: there must be something in your hero that interests you. This might be a pointer to what role God has designed for you in life. There must be something around you that you can do to replicate your hero in some sense.
iii) Pay attention to your environment to see that thing that interest you and engage yourself in it. It is while doing what interest you that you discover a career for yourself.
For those who might find it difficult to identify what they like doing , he admonished them to do whatever they find doing well; for example, paying serious attention to their studies. He reiterated that in doing so, they would develop a path for themselves.
In closing, he spoke about the vast opportunities in Nigeria. He discouraged the students from looking at the difficulties in the country but rather see such difficulties as opportunities in disguise. He encouraged students to put emphasis on knowledge and pursuit of wisdom.
Dr. Onifade did a deep analysis of how the brain works. He defined the brain as the magical reservoir of tools and techniques that is used to turn tools and techniques into product. He maintained that the brain is an essential element in being productive. After an exposition on how the brain works, he spoke extensively about drugs, how they work and the effects on the brain. One major effect is that drugs impair on the brain. He emphasized that the negative effects of drugs far outweigh the positive effects. According to him, drugs affect the brain in a fundamental and long lasting way. Drugs rewire the brain to the extent that it will take about ninety days after stopping drugs intake for the person involved to be totally healed.
The speaker then discussed how a drug addict/victim can be helped. He gave a practical testimony of how an old student of the school was helped to overcome drugs and how he eventually graduated gloriously. He offered the following admonition:
i) If you have not started taking drug, maintain the status quo
ii) If you have started stop
iii) If you can’t stop, seek help
Finally, he maintained that drugs impaired productivity. So, for youths to be productive, they must abstain from drugs. However, it requires the help of everybody because it is a societal problem.
Mrs Anita Marquis did a review of the seminar. She stressed the need for the youths to aim at productivity by discovering their talents and pursuing them. She advised them to be engaging and focused. She pointed out that drug use is prevalent in all tertiary institutions including faith based institutions. She furthered that any youth that is engaging in drugs will not be productive to himself or his societies. She referred the students to some of pictures on the pamphlet and made them see how drugs can hamper on the physical , mental and emotional state of the users.
The following are some of the roles of parents in curbing drug use and addiction among youths
• Parents should establish and nurture good relationship with their children
• Parents must lead by examples
• Parents must allocate and spend quality time with their family
• Parents must take their responsibilities more seriously
• Seek professional help when necessary.
The youths should take note of the following:
• You bear the primary and absolute responsibility for your life and future.
• Always seek knowledge about drugs
• Be careful to choose your friends
• Develop a self esteemed and remain focused
• Steer clear of peer pressure
• Don’t experiment with drugs
• Always seek help as soon as possible Never start taking drugs at all.