By Victoria Onehi
A total of 45 young Nigerians who participated in the Leadership Mentorship Initiative (LMI) programme have graduated and conferred with Fellowship.
During the graduation and Conferment of LMI Fellowship on the 2nd Cohort of the Programme yesterday in Abuja,the Founder of the Initiative and Chief of staff to the President, Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila,said the programme has come far and will still go even farther by the grace of God and the continued commitment and dedicated support of all.
“All of you who are graduating today are here because, over time, you have, by your actions, shown your desire and determination to participate in making the decisions about politics and governance that define our lives and determine the fate of nations. You applied to the LMI, you distinguished yourselves from amongst the so many, and you were chosen. You stayed the course, made the sacrifice, and are now Fellows of the LMI.I congratulate you on your achievement, I celebrate your resolve, and applaud the intelligence, ability and tenacity that has brought you thus far.” Gbajabiamila noted.
The Director General of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, said indeed,the LMI has proven to be very impactful to the emerging young leaders due to the intensive mentorship and exposure to leadership skills as well as legislative practices and procedures.
“Since it was domiciled in the institute by the former Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives and the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila CFR, the programme has continued to live up to its mandate of serving as a platform for enriching and nurturing the next generation of public sector leaders.” Suleiman said.
The Deputy Speaker,Hon Benjamin Kalu who expressed gratitude for the warm reception he received from the LMI participants during the Master Class earlier in the week, said the dedication and resilience demonstrated by the Fellows in the face of challenges they were given during the training, underscores their commitment to honing their skills and contributing meaningfully to the progress of the nation.
“The enthusiasm, intellect and passion displayed by the LMI Fellows were truly commendable. It was evident that these young leaders are not just the future, they are the present force driving positive change in our great nation,Nigeria.”Kalu stated.
In her Keynote address,the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Jamila Bio Ibrahim said the LMI Fellowship, through its comprehensive mentorship programme, has not only provided theoretical knowledge but has immersed the young leaders in real-world scenarios,enabling them to engage with the intricacies of governance.
She however urged the new Fellows to be actively involved in the political landscape.
“As we celebrate today, we must also acknowledge the importance of sustained engagement-the commitment to be actively involved in the political landscape, to listen to the needs of the people, and to champion causes that matter to our nation.The power of vouth political leadership lies in active engagement.” She noted.
The Director of LMI, Barr. Chimdi Neliaku, said the LMI is committed to building the next public sector leaders especially legislators.
“Through this programme,we are inspiring a generation who can make a change in our nation,in our continent and the rest of the world. Through LMI,we are going to give young people the skills,the competence, capacity,the character that they can stand solidly on the shoulder of our Founder,Hon Femi Gbajabiamila,the Chief of staff to the President.”Neliaku said.
The best graduating Fellow from the 2nd cohort of LMI Kator Igbudu, said emerging the best graduating Fellow is an humbling experience.
“Having to sit with such bright minds, is a great achievement. I would say,I have actually gained from everyone in this cohort than I was able to give.I must say being a Fellow of LMI has strengthened my resolve to be a legislator.I have learned so much that has equipped me to become a great leader. Thank you to our Founder, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila who initiated this idea and is pursuing this vision keenly.”Igbudu said.