The failure of parents, schools and leadership of the nation to engage Nigerian youths in Scouting activities and other events that can build culture and good morals in young people has been attributed to the cause of social vices including drug addiction, fraud, insurgency, among others.
Adebesin Oyeyemi Olohuntoyin, State Scout Commissioner, Lagos State Scout Council, disclosed this in Lagos at the weekend during the investiture of Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, Lekan Biliaminu Sulaimon-Oba, as SHQ for Sustainable Goals, Lagos State Council by the Lagos State Scout Council.
Lamenting that today, the aspect of good deeds and respect for citizens have gone out of our culture, Olohuntoyin said: “Scouting breeds culture. Every tribe has its own culture and tradition and scout goes into the tradition to see how we can come back to good days and that we won’t derail.
“Until we go back to the basis, we won’t be able to achieve our aim. You can see that today, a lot of youths engage in so many vices, including drug addiction, Yahoo-yahoo- fraud, Boko Haram, among others because they are not engaged. Since we failed to engage the youths, today, they are engaging us. And that is the major challenge we have in our country.
“Call it whatever name you like, it is because we have refused to engage the youths from the grassroots. If we engage the youth from the beginning, they will know the right way to go. Until we are able to go back to the basics and engage them, they will continue to engage us and we will not find it easy.”
In his speech, the investee, Sulaimon-Oba, said the event was “A clarion call for more work from the young people. It is actually a positive thing when the community recognizes the fact that there is a need to engage the youths more.”
Saying that “A society that fails to invest in its youths is not ready for the future,” Sulaimon-Oba, added: Scout is actually taking the right step by saying that we should work with other Scouts to engage the youths in SDG community.”
He advised policy makers to carry the youths along in their policies so that they can be part of the society, and promised to embark on serious reorientation of young minds.
While restating his commitment to the Scout laws, Sulaimon-Oba urged the youths to be in line with the current global trend.
Sulaimon-Oba promised to think outside the box to make his promises to the Scout a reality, while restating his commitment to serving God and humanity.
Lamenting that many citizens today believe in what they can get from the country, Olohuntoyin advised: “We should realize that we have a duty to Nigeria, and Scouting will teach you what it takes to ensure that you also contribute to the development of the country before the country can now do one or two things for you.
“Part of the promise is to help other people at all times and to obey the Scout law. Today, that aspect has gone out of our culture.”
Speaking on the investiture ceremony for Sulaimon-Oba, Olohuntoyin said: “It is very important to carry him along in whatever we do here because it is all about youth and we also need him to add his voice to the development of the youth in Lagos State. Sulaimon-Oba is the chairman of Lagos State youth council.
“Scouting is an association that has to do with youth development. Our major aim of Scouting is to ensure that you get them from the beginning, starting from the grassroots. If you go into Scout laws and policies, you will discover that Scouting is structured in such a way that it has a root unlike every other youth organisations.
“Our promise is to do my best and do our duty to God and humanity, Olohuntoyin said, adding “Duty to God is the basic thing that Scouting preaches. Scout recognizes that there is a superior being somewhere that you must always communicate with and we need that person. Whether you do it in a Christian or a Muslim way, or a traditional way, it doesn’t matter.”
The State Scout Commissioner, who appealed to the Lagos State government to make schools’ facilities available to the organisation for regular practice, said: “Before now, we had access to schools, such that over the weekend, we used to go to schools to do our scouting activities undisturbed, which we saw as a major feat.
“Today, the schools are locked up at weekend and people are not allowed to go there. Scouting is only done as one of the activities done during the school hours. This is not enough.
“The basis of Scouting is to develop a youth morally, physically and otherwise. Because we are not able to have those activities today, youth want to engage themselves and before you know it, they put themselves into club, or cult groups. But if you follow Scout instructions, it has a way of developing people and helps build morals among students.”
He also lamented that today, Social Studies, Moral Instruction subjects are no longer parts of our school curriculum, noted “Scouting is there for you to do things and ensure that you put the youth right. As they do it, they will understand the right way to go.”
Olohutoyin said that Scouting is a globally recognized association that enables its members to move from one level to the other.
“We should be able to showcase the good culture of Nigeria through scouting to the youths,” he added.