Category: Elections

‘I DON’T NEED A GODFATHER…’ | DAYO ISRAEL ON WHY HE IS #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

In recent times, a new campaign, #NotTooYoungToRun advocating for the reduction of the age restrictions placed on Nigerians planning to run for an elected office within the country is fast gaining ground.

The goal of the campaign is to ensure the inclusion of youths across Nigeria in the political landscape where they can be viable to run for elected offices.

Currently, according to section 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 constitution, qualification into presidential office is pegged at 40 years and above, office of governors and senate, 35 years and above while House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly to 25 years and above.

The #NotTooYoungToRun campaign seeks to reduce the age bracket of qualification for political offices so that Nigerian youths who have taken control of different endeavors in life and excelled at it, can have a shot at the helm of national affairs.

One of the front liners of the campaign is Dayo Israel, a high flying Nigerian youth who is contesting for the chairmanship of Lagos Mainland local government.

In an interview with YNaija, the 30-year old Dayo advocated the need for the Nigerian youth to maximize opportunities presented before them even as he listed his lofty plans if he wins the forthcoming local government election.

On Nigerian youths maximizing their potentials, Dayo said, “Our youths are limited and not inspired to fulfill their potential. Unemployment and lack of skills is of major concern but if we can empower more youths to build their skill and be motivated, they will discover themselves and demand more from life.

“We need to create more jobs but it must not come From the civil service alone, it must come from a problem solving angle. Young people should be at the forefront of solving problems and earn an income doing same.”

Asked why he decided to run for an elected office, Dayo replied, “Because I am not too young to run.”

He however, further explained that he felt led by the Holy Spirit as he had been given a mandate to impact lives.

He said, “Really I actually planned on getting into the legislative arm of government but I realized there’s a lot more you can do to impact the lives of people in an executive role. So I decided to start from the grass root.

“The Holy Spirit led me to run as I was made to understand that all the experience I’ve gathered over the years is so I can affect people’s lives positively.”

Highlighting some of his plans for the local government if he is elected, Dayo promised to revamp the community library which has been left ill equipped for a long time. He also promised to work on turning the library into a hub for graphic designers and other related art in addition to resuscitating the already defunct place of learning.

Dayo Israel, believes that every Nigerian youth has to be on the lookout for opportunities and be ready to maximize them to achieve full potential.

He said, “I believe that everything that we have achieved in life is to the glory of god. In my short years of living so far, I’ve been privileged to have been able to do a lot of things in my growing up years which I believe is a matter of opportunities that anyone can get.

“I’ve been able to maximize opportunities given. For example, I had the privilege of becoming the first deputy senate president of the Nigerian children’s parliament and through that I was able to push for the passage of the child rights act bill into law in partnership with the other children parliamentarian.”

Furthermore, he spoke more of his work in diaspora after leaving the shores of Nigeria for England.

“I moved into England and worked on my Advocacy with African diaspora youths. I worked with a charity called Africans Unite Against Child Abuse and one of the things I did was create a voice and an opportunity for young Africans in diaspora to be celebrated and to be supported.

“I worked on a project which led to the launch of the African Youth Forum that focused on supporting newly arrived African immigrants into the United Kingdom. We were providing help for young Africans who had just come into the UK helping them to acclimatize to the new culture and environment.”

For his effort in youth development, Dayo became the first and only young African to be awarded the PEWA (Persons Earnestly Working for Africa) award. He was presented with the award in a short ceremony in the office of the Mayor of London.

Dayo has worked for the United Nations in different capacities at different times. He led the Nigerian children delegation to the New York in 2002 where he met with the late Nelson Mandela.

He was also live on CNN for one hour speaking on behalf of all the children of the world from over 170 nations.

Dayo was also a finalist for the Future Awards Young Person of the Year alongside Genevieve Nnaji and D’banj in 2007.

In 2004, he hosted the United Nations Young General Assembly Session in Nigeria which brought together 156 young people from all over the world even as he was also a part of the UN World Summit On Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

Dayo Israel told YNaija even though he is into politics he does not have a godfather.

He said, “I am supported by God the Father and the youths of my generation. We don’t need a god father to rise and deliver value to our people. Nigeria belongs to all of us. I want to inspire more young people to stop complaining and stand up.”

Dayo, who also worked as Senior Special Assistant to chairman senate committee on Road as well as the Director of Africa at the Commonwealth Africa Initiative revealed that his campaign would be funded from personal funds as well as public donations.

He said, “Personally and through the support of friends and loved ones and most importantly divine provision. I already created a gofundme account on www.gofundme.com/dayoisrael to promote the cause.”

GLEEHD Foundation hosts Nigerian Dignitaries & Economic Leaders at the 1-Week Centenary Celebration in London

In celebrating Nigeria, her people and her successes over the last 100 years; Commonwealth Democracy Initiative in partnership with GLEEHD Foundation, ROSTRA Consulting & Amandla Consulting organised a week long chain of events in London to celebrate the success of Nigeria as a united nation from the  Monday 10th to Thursday 13th of March 2014.

Dayo Israel, GLEEHD Foundation’s Director for Africa led the Nigeria delegation through the London events which commemorated Nigeria’s centenary, her active role in the commonwealth, and the economic growth of her state, while also creating an opportunity for a renewed partnership between Nigerian Government/Business Leaders and their European counterparts.

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Speaking about the involvement of GLEEHD Foundation; Dayo Israel said “it is imperative that as the Commonwealth and the United Kingdom celebrates the Centenary of World War 1 and this year’s commonwealth Day observance, that it should also celebrate the centenary of the amalgamation of the southern and northern Nigeria – a British product led initiated by Lord Lugard, it is on this premise that we have collaborated with the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative and Rostra Consulting to put Nigeria on the map during this symbolic week in the commonwealth and also to help foster a renewed commitment in the UK-Nigeria economic relationship.”

The delegation of visiting Nigerian Business and Economic Leaders led by General Yakubu Gowon participated at the Commonwealth Memorial Service in Honour of the war dead of World War 1 with wreath laying on behalf of the Nigerians who died in World War 1 at the Commonwealth Memorial Gate in London.

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The ceremony had in attendance Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major; Eminent Commonwealth Leaders, Senior British Leaders, Joke Silva, Sound Sultan, Weird MC and a host of others.

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The Nigerian Business Roundtable was held in honour of Nigeria at the British Institute of Directors was held to bring together various private investors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from Nigeria and to meet their public and private sector counterparts in the United Kingdom.

It also offered a unique opportunity for business communities to engage each other in a series of plenary and breakout sessions which covered major issues, including challenges and opportunities in UK-Nigeria Investment and Trade. Some of the participants include Governor Yuguda of Bauchi, Governor Oshiomole, Governor Uduaghan, Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria – Hakeem Belo-Osagie; Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group – Foluso Phillips, M.D of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry – Dr. Evelyn Oputu, D.G National Center for Women’s Development – Onyeka Onwenu; HRH Adekunle and Ojuolape Ojora; Vice Chairman of the Council of Speakers and Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon Sunmonu; Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation Senator Gbenga Obadara, Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva, General Yakubu Gowon, Minister of Power – Prof Chinedu Osita Nebo amongst others.

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Other leaders represented at the week long event include the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuade, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed of Kwara and Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau, and Hon Labaran Maku – Minister of Information.

Speaking at the business roundtable; Governor Oshiomole said “The story of Nigeria is like a big elephant struggling to get on its feet but there is no question that when it does get on its feet, it must dominate the forest. All indicators are there, no perfect country but many opportunities… Nigeria ought to get first preference from the British investors especially because of our ties and the advantage of language etc but Britain is losing out to the Asian tigers, its high time Britain reconnect to Nigeria economically.”

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The event also featured some High Level Trade and Investment Meetings organised by GLEEHD Foundation for the Government and Business Leaders from Nigeria including a High Powered Trade Meeting with Former UK Ambassador for Global Trade and Investment, and 3rd Child of Queen Elizabeth – Prince Andrew the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace; as well as a meeting with the leadership of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship at the UK House of Lords.

A Special Event at the Islington School of Art and Media was also held which saw some of the VIP Guests from Nigeria address over 250 students and young leaders as part of the activities to celebrate Nigeria’s Centennial Anniversary in London. Speakers included GLEEHD Director – Dayo Israel, General Yakubu Gowon, Foluso Phillips and Dr. Charles Akinola from the Osun State Government.

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All invited guest also participated at the Commonweath Day Observance Service with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Westminster Abbey, with some delegates including General Yakubu Gowon attending a Private reception with Her Majesty The Queen at Marlborough House as organised by GLEEHD Foundation.

Chairmanship Aspirant Dayo Israel trains Lagos Mainlanders in Vocational Skills

…as Mamora, Sosan and Opeifa says he is #Nottooyoungtorun 

Dayo Israel, the chairmanship candidate for Lagos Mainland Local Government on Monday, August 15, 2016, flagged off a skills acquisition & mentoring programme for residents of his constituency.

The training opening ceremony took place at Oyingbo in Ebute Metta, Lagos. The three weeks empowerment programme, organised in partnership with A Fresh Start Initiative, GLEEHD Foundation and Double Grace Development Initiative International, is targeted at school leavers, students, artisans, housewives, and unemployed adults who intend to learn to be self-dependent.

The program according to Mr Israel, aims to also promote sustainable livelihood, financial literacy and financial inclusivity as a tool for economic development, particularly in the areas of poverty reduction, employment generation, wealth creation and improving welfare and general standard of living.

Participants are being taught skills in hair dressing, bead making, makeup artistry, interior decoration, computer training, digital marketing, event planning, leather works, fashion design, wire works, chemical works, fish and snail farming, , traditional engagement package, graphic design, photography and video editing.

Speaking on the need for the vocational training, Mr. Israel said that he is not doing this as an electioneering tactics, but rather a continuation of an ongoing endeavour. “Organising training of this nature is what I do on a daily basis. I have been involved in advocacy and development for over 16years since my days at Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) to UNICEF, Save the Children and GLEEHD Foundation. I have only brought it closer to home so my community can benefit. I started a 6weeks vocational training here over 6years ago. With the rise of cultism, hooliganism and insecurity in the local government, it is important to engage residents especially the youth”, he said.

Commenting on the selection criteria for the trainees, Dayo said “the process was an open one for members of the public and not particularly those from Lagos Mainland Local Government. We allowed people pick forms to go for classes they are interested in. Some are still picking theirs presently and the aim is to train 10,000 for a three weeks period”.

He believes that the training is key to the economic emancipation of the residents.  “We don’t intend to train and dump them. We will teach them branding and how to market their products. They will leave the training well equipped with the needed knowledge and skill to survive on their own. We will expose them. For example, the photography class will attend the world photography week event in Lagos while the cosmetic class will visit leading cosmetic centres and manufacturers in Lagos – this is part of the study visit segment of the program. We want them to be able to commercialise the skills acquired” he added.

He also intends to help them acquire government documentation such as NAFDAC approval for those interested in manufacturing products.

According to Mrs. Josephine Owuye, the President of the Double Grace Development Initiative International, “anyone who takes part in the intensive training will be fully equipped and can make informed decisions on their own based on what they have learnt.”

In addition, Dayo announced 9 (nine) $10, 500 (ten thousand five hundred USD) Red Hat Certification scholarship to young people from the Lagos Mainland Local Government Area by the Fresh Start Initiative. Red Hat training courses such as RHCSA, RHCE, etc. have long been considered to be the best certifications in acquiring skills for the open source Linux operating system. Knowledge of operating and managing a Linux system, helps professionals gain an edge over others.

“The young people will be picked from the 9 wards in the Local Government”, Dayo revealed.

He has also offered 10 scholarships to young entrepreneurs from the Local Government to attend an Entrepreneurs Masterclass at the Lagos Business School.

The training features a daily inspirational session headlining speakers such as Princess Sarah Sosan OFR, Senator Nimbe Mamora, Dr. Hafsat Abiola, H,E Onari Duke, Hon Kayode Opeife, Nike Ogunlesi, Chioma Chukwuka and more.

Speaking at the training, Lagos Former Deputy Governor Princess Sarah Sosan said Mainland was lucky to have produced a Youth like Dayo Israel, while Senator Mamora challenged the participant to use their gift to transform their destiny. On the other hand, Comrade Kayode Opeifa challenged the Youth to rise up and build the future, saying “with Youth like Dayo Israel, Nigeria’s future is safe.

Asked how his campaign is funded, He said, “Personally and through the support of friends and loved ones and most importantly divine provision. I already created a gofundme account on www.gofundme.com/dayoisrael to promote the cause.”

Dayo was born into the Abdulai Family in Olowogbowo (Agbole Baba Eleran/Baba Dudu) and the Banire Family in Ibita Ofin Lagos Island. His manifesto can be read on www.mainland.dayoisrael.com