Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has recounted how she spent about 10 years with street urchins under several notorious Lagos bridges in a bid to reshape their lives.
Speaking at a ‘Teens Career Conference’ organized by The Everlasting Arms Parish TEAP of the Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG, Garki, Abuja, Mrs Osinbajo said;
“When I became a worker in the church, the first place I worked was the Teenage Church and for 10 years I was in the Children’s Church. For 10 years, I was under the bridge; under the bridge in Lagos with ‘Area Boys’. So, every kind of drug that there is, I know about it. I have seen it before and I have seen the effects as well and I will like you to know that the ones that use it are not different from you. Some of them too have parents in the church. Some of them have parents with very big names. There are some
streets in Lagos that the names of the streets are names of people, some of which have their children under the bridge. There were people whose parents lived in America and yet their children were under the bridge. So, do not even imagine that it cannot happen to you, but you must be an example in your conduct”.
Dr Oby Ezekwesili who was also at the conference urged the participants to use their teenage years to decide on what they want to be in life.
She said: “If we do not reform education in this country, the 65 per cent of the children in the public school system that are failing are usually the children of the poorer segment of the society. So, what it means is double jeopardy. You are going to create what I call inter-generational poverty, dynasties in families simply because you have failed to make public education effective and productive and able to grow the competitive skills that they need in order to move from one level of society to the next level of society”