Bishop Theologian Prof Dapo Asaju has said the future of the present generation lies with the youth recounting how young people in time past made an impact on their generation.
Prof Asaju made the observation at the University of Nigeria Nsukka during the Joshua Generation International Youth Conference. The conference was organised by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.
Prof. Asaju recently completed his term as the Vice-Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University and then went back to the Lagos State University to continue his lecturing work.
He said at the programme which had many young people in attendance that any society that neglects young people is set for destruction.
Giving several examples of people like Solomon who became king at age 20, David who was anointed king at a tender age, and Esther who saved a generation from extinction by her act of courage, he said “young people are well-positioned to bring change to society.”
He encouraged the youth to brace up and take up the gauntlet to rout the domain of darkness. He said, “The world is waiting for you. You need to rise up and take up the challenge. Gowon was in his 30s when he became head of state, many of his lieutenants were in their 20s. Everybody is looking for young people to take over the government. The world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God.
“Any society that abandons the youth is finished. You own the economy. You are leaders in the church, God needs you in politics. You own your world. God uses those who are young to take over the world.
“John the Baptist was still in the womb of his mother when the Lord began to use him. He leaped for joy when he heard the voice of Mary the mother of Jesus. He was already manifesting in the womb. Samuel was less than 10 when he began to hear the voice of God.”
Asaju recalled that the last time he came to the UNN was about 30 years ago. He said at that time he was already Chairman of the Academic Staff of Lagos State University adding that the youthful age is a productive age.
He lamented the brain drain in the country noting that many Nigerians have allowed themselves to be enslaved in other lands because Nigeria is not working. “I do not blame those who are going out because our government has not been responsible. But we must change that narrative. We must build this land,” he said.
Asaju who is a professor of 20 years out of 38 years of lecturing urged the young people to change the narrative and maintain their dignity in the face of daunting challenges.
He said the “Joshua generation is a generation of freedom. It is a generation of people of integrity. It is a fighting generation. The first time God spoke to Joshua, he was 20 years. You are not a civilian, you are a soldier for Christ. The Joshua generation is a generation that obeys authority. They are people of exceptional faith.”
The university don who spoke on the topic “following and making” said the first step for young people is to follow after Jesus and learn at his feet before launching out to do exploit.
He gave the instance of the disciples of Jesus who demonstrated great power using the name of Jesus.
He however warned that charisma does not make a Christian. He enjoined the young people to bear the fruit of the spirit insisting that at the end, what will matter is the character and life of Jesus in them.
Prof. Asaju also used the opportunity to encourage the young people to remain within the Anglican Church and stop moving from one church to another.