Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has urged past and current winners of the JKF annual essay competition to develop their leadership skills, stressing that part of the focus of the competition is to provide a platform for young people to espouse their leadership ideas.
Dr Fayemi stated this when he hosted winners of the competition from 2018 to 2021 to a held a special luncheon at the Government House, Ado-Ekiti on Thursday.
He urged the winners, some of whom attended the luncheon with their parents, to celebrate their success stories, using it as platform of engagement with their mates and friends.
He promised to continue to support them achieve the leadership position they so much crave for.
The Governor who reviewed the annual events from 2018 to 2021 said the competition had, in the last four years, produced quite a number of intelligent youths, adding that participating in the contest was a test of courage, commitment and competence on the part of the youths.
He harped on the need for youths to imbibe the core values of sound character, integrity, hard work, honesty and urged them not to base their lives on academic prowess alone because there are many people in the world who are absolutely brilliant but totally lacking in character.
The Governor assured the youngsters that the competition would continue even long after his exit from office as governor because it was his personal initiative, aimed at building new leaders.
“For me, the essence of this competition is to bring out people who God has endowed with some talents but have also allowed themselves to be imbued with character in the course of their educational attainment. All of you are obviously excellent students. You demonstrated this by the way you come up to participate, even without knowing anyone, just submitting your essays to a panel and the panel has independently and objectively judged you to be winners in the competition.
“You already demonstrated that you have the capacity to lead and you’ve shown in your essays, ideas, thoughts, principles about what you would like to do if you were given leadership position. You’ve proven that, what you need to do is move to the next level either to actively engage in leading wherever you find yourselves.
“You don’t have to be in politics before you lead. Leadership is sacrifice, leadership is not title, it is not the office you occupy, it is what you do to influence others to see the values in putting themselves forward whenever the opportunity arise and that is what you have done even with a level of scepticism, you still decided to write the essays. The Governor said.
Earlier, the winners, while sharing their individual experiences, appealed to the Governor to ensure continuity and sustainability of the annual competition.
The winners also commended the impartiality and transparency of the panel of judges as majority of them said they never thought they could make it because they were not connected with anyone in government.
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