For me, it was a meeting beyond compare. Our last Summit at the scenic Obudu, in Cross River State, was, indeed, an Opportunity Fair: opportunity to see and savour new things; meet peers, talk to different people and, more importantly, sit at the feet of successful men and women whose every word whispered sweetly into your ears, the magical words of President Barack Obama, “yes, we can!”.
It was in May that I received a message about the meeting taking place in two locations –Enugu and Obudu. I was excited because I love to travel. As the date drew closer, I received another message that every Emerging Nigerian Leader would make a presentation on his or her community development project. That got me a nervous but at least I had a project. On the 10th of June, I left for Enugu.
On arrival, I met so many beautiful and welcoming faces; it was amazing seeing my fellow ENLs, about 50 of us, and our mentors. From the time, I checked into the hotel, I started enjoying myself. The highlight on Day one was an interesting welcome address by Fr. Godswill who also shared his emotional and thought provoking life experience. His was a story of poverty, dreams, determination and hard work combining with the grace of God to produce results. As a young and fatherless boy, his determination to beat poverty and hardship was so great that, he became a typist while still a student and paid his way through seminary and theological school, graduating on top of his class. One thing was clear from his presentation, people who make excuses never succeed.
DAY 2 took us to Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, where we met and shared our programme with the students. CSAAE Opportunity Fair provides team members the opportunity to spread their message of ethics, excellence in leadership and development. Mr. James Elekwachi gave an eye-opening lecture on the “Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Nigeria” while Dr. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo spoke eloquently on the topic: “Opportunities Everywhere; Don’t Let the Law Stop You.” Dr Farouk Kurawa gave tips on “Funding Opportunities for New Enterprises in Nigeria,” and the amiable Mr. Alex Ugwuezeonu shared with the students on the employment opportunities in Nigeria. Fr. Godswill Agbagwa took it further by opening our eyes to the “Educational Opportunities in the United States.”
Later, emerging leaders showcased themselves and their experiences beginning with Fransica Ekwuonu. It was an interactive session and students had a chance to bare their heart on key issues and get reasonable answers.
DAY 3 began at the beautiful Obudu, warm and welcoming. This was where we presented our community development projects and took questions from colleagues and mentors. It was interesting.
On Day 4, we went to the prestigious Federal College of Education, Obudu and it was there our colleague Russell Ubazoro treated the team to his revealing community development project entitled: “Let’s Go Farming”. The session was educative, entertaining and inspiring, Kudos to ENL Russell, a rising star and emerging leader indeed.
Every good thing must come to an end and so did our beautiful Summit. It ended on a high note, with new hopes, aspirations and renewed effort to work harder and together to make the collective journey to rescue Nigeria and Africa a reality. CSAAE is undoubtedly a dream come through and we shall put hands together to produce the result we so desperately need. We can’t give up on Nigeria, no not even Africa.