Opinion

Presidential aide bags Nelson Mandela award

The Economic Community of West African States Youth Council has conferred the Nelson Mandela Leadership of Excellence Award on the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Sector Reform, and National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu.

President of the council, Amb. Seun Williams, while presenting the award to her, commended Ibekaku-Nwagwu for empowering women, youths and children and her humanitarian services.

Williams, who was represented by the Vice- President of the council, Mr Epah Pablo, said that the award was in recognition of Africans who were contributing to the advancement of the youths.

He said, “We are commending Mrs Ibekaku-Nwagwu for using her position in government to contribute to justice reforms and the fight against corruption. She could, like some others, chose to live outside the country and not help the continent, but she chose to help the people, especially the youths by empowering them through bursary awards to indigent students, entrepreneur trainings and other charity activities.”

Responding, Ibekaku-Nwagwu pledged to cooperate with the EYC on initiatives to tackle youth unemployment, among others.

She advised African countries to create functional internship opportunities for youths where they could gain experience, noting that the major problem confronting youths seeking employment was the lack of work experience.

The Presidential aide further noted that her organisation, the JC Ibekaku Hope Project Foundation, would collaborate with the ECOWAS Youth Council to champion youth empowerment in Africa.

She stated, “There is a need for the government in Nigeria and Africa to create the kind of internship opportunities we have in Europe and America.”

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