The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has reiterated the need to positively harness the gifts and talents of the youths of the country for the emancipation of a greater Nigerian nation. The Archbishop made the call at the recent graduation of the 32 pioneer graduates of St Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos State
The Archbishop declared: “We cannot fail to use an opportunity such as this to call attention to the need for the creation of the atmosphere necessary for the blooming of talents and the positive use of youthful energy for the growth of our country, Nigeria. An atmosphere of insecurity and lack of adequate basic infrastructure cannot be friendly to the young.
He continued: “Without prejudice to what government at different levels may be doing, the fact is that insecurity is very much with us in all corners of our country. The problems associated with insecurity, lack of electric power supply, good roads, potable water and decent housing in good quantity are making it impossible for all citizens to live well and are not giving the young ones a leeway to begin their lives. We call on all concerned, especially the Federal Government but also government at all levels, to do more for the young people in particular and for the entire citizenry in general.
According to Archbishop Martins, who is the proprietor of the University, the institution has, with its characteristic Catholic tradition tried to form the graduating students into men and women with philanthropic and altruistic values consistent with the motto of the university
He remarked: “We hope we have succeeded in giving you three gifts: KNOWLEDGE which derives from learning, INTEGRITY which comes from character and CONFIDENCE which is the fruit of learning and character. Please go with these gifts and conquer the world, make a new world by living out the values inherent in the motto of this hallowed institution. Each of you should be the change that we need in our country. Be ambassadors of your alma mater and we look forward to the formation of a strong Alumni Association with you as the foundation members.
Archbishop Martins while thanking all those who have contributed in making the university a reality, congratulated the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Afolami, the Principal Officers, the entire Management Team and all staff of the University for “their hard-work over the years; for their tenacity, forbearance and relentless efforts in keeping to the vision behind the foundation of the University.”
Describing the graduation ceremony as a testimony of faith and resilience, Archbishop Martins also congratulated the graduating students saying: “For you, the wonderful thirty-two young men and women graduating today, this event is the beginning point for greater achievements in your lives; while for the rest of us, it is a testimony to our faith that with God on our side, we can do great things, it is a victory for resilience and hard work.”