Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, described social media as a blessing to the electorate and not politicians alone.
This was as he advised the youth to maximise the “real advantages” of social media, noting that they live in the most advanced moment in human history.
He also counselled young people to learn from history so as not to repeat past mistakes. According to him, learning from the country’s troubled past is much better than experiencing its new.
In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo spoke at the Emerging Young Leaders Forum, where he was the Special Guest of Honour.
The statement is titled ‘Osinbajo tells youths to learn from history as Liberian leaders, people pour encomiums on him.’
According to him, “I think that social media is a blessing for everyone, not just for politicians but the electorate and others.
“The platforms are so crucial in being able to communicate and it is also important to recognise that every generation has its own technology. It has its abuses and downsides, but you must make sure you maximise its real advantages.
While noting the epochal moment today’s youths occupy in history, Osinbajo said “In terms of advancement, this generation doesn’t compare to any before it.
“We, who are older than you, are enjoying your generation’s technology, and I hope and pray that you would take full advantage of it to expand your knowledge, and scope of activities, and for broadening enterprise and your communication with other people.”
The VP added that every sensible person learns from history rather than from experience.
“If you wait to learn from experience, you will suffer. What you are supposed to do with history and your past, is to learn from it and never let it repeat itself.
“One of the most important things for young people is that you must bear in mind all the time that your history is not your destiny, it is just part of your story.
“Your destiny is what you have decided, where you are going and you will get there as long as you don’t allow the tyrant and oppressor of history to hold you back,” he said.
Earlier in her welcome address, Dr Howard-Taylor described her Nigerian counterpart as a humble and selfless leader who inspires hope for a better Africa.
“He is the most humble politician in Africa,” she said.
At the event, the Vice President was honoured with an award of Distinguished Service to Humanity “for his exemplary service to the development of Nigeria, Liberia, West Africa, and the rest of the continent – by Liberian youths, about 400 of whom were part of the event.”
Presenting the award plaque, the co-host of the event and youth activist, Mr Benjamin Sanvee, said the recognition was to appreciate “all your service, everything that you have done and will continue to do.”
“This is in deep appreciation for years of stellar service to Nigeria, Liberia, the ECOWAS region, the continent of Africa and the world at large.”
Osinbajo was also decorated at the event with the traditional title of “Chief Flomo Barwolor,” meaning “the light to the people.”
The traditional title was presented by a Liberian Cultural group led by Julee Endee.
The forum was also attended by the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Bio, who commended Osinbajo for promoting the cause of a better Africa.
Osinbajo made a brief stop at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center For Women Development, to participate in the programme for the ECOWAS Human Rights Day, which also coincided with the 5th anniversary of Ms Sirleaf’s post-presidency.
In his remarks there, he applauded the contributions of the former Liberian President to the development of the country both in and outside the office.
“One of the things you have been able to show is not just that it is possible to serve well, but also to serve out of the office and to do perhaps more.
On her part, Sirleaf asked the VP to ensure greater female participation in governance and politics in Nigeria.