Stop Blame Game, Former Minister Urges Young And Old


Joel Ajayi

In a thought-provoking lecture at the 17th annual anniversary of Splash FM and the 85th birthday celebration of Oba Murtala Adebayo Akande, former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Chief Sunday Akinlabi Dare, emphasized the importance of youth in Nigeria’s development. He stressed that the country’s future relies on the collaboration between the youth and older generations.

“And we should stop the blame game. The young ones blaming the older ones, the older ones blaming the younger ones, that they are not disciplined. Let’s get together and create a synergy that can develop our society.”

Dare highlighted the stereotypes surrounding youth, citing Francis Bacon’s quote, “Youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second.” However, he also noted that the youth constitute over 70% of Nigeria’s population, making them a vital segment that cannot be ignored.

The lecture probed the age myth, which perpetuates stereotypes that youth is inherently superior in creativity and energy. Dare argued that this belief sidelines older generations, disregarding their experience and wisdom. He emphasized that innovation is not confined to youth, citing examples of Colonel Harland Sanders and Ray Kroc, who founded successful businesses in their 60s.

Dare stressed the importance of blending generations, fostering a culture of inclusivity that recognizes the strengths of each age group. He cited the Adopt-an-Athlete program, which paired youth athletes with older generation sponsors, leading to Nigeria’s best performances in international competitions.

The lecture concluded that unbundling the age myth and blending generations is a strategic imperative for innovation, resilience, and growth. Dare emphasized that every generation has its hour to shine and that mutual respect and collaboration are essential for building a future that celebrates diversity in all its forms.

The lecture served as a call to action, urging Nigerians to recognize the value of both youth and experience, and to work together to advance the country’s development. As Dare aptly stated, “Age does not define your game; it is the heart and hustle.”

“This is the generation for the youth. They share the population even in our country. I said you cannot ignore the youth. They cannot ignore their population. They cannot ignore their skills. They cannot ignore their innovative minds.
Beyond the age, there is a need for the younger generation and the older generation to work together. The youths bring something to the table, the older generation brings something to the table, then we can move society forward


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