It was an honorable day for Mr. Paqueens Irabor as the African Youth Parliament conferred on him the 2018 Nelson Mandela leadership award for Most Outstanding person on administration and societal development.
The African Youth Parliament is a continent-wide network of young leaders, peace builders and social activists from 54 African countries working to promote and advocate for youthful solutions to African’s developmental challenges with its Nigerian office in the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
The event which took place on Thursday, 20th September 2018, at the Bank of Industry’s state office, NTC Road, Oke-Ado, Ibadan had in attendance dignitaries from all over the state as well as Representatives from the African Youth parliament from Abuja.
The event which started 10 am was opened with a prayer and the singing of the national anthem after which the AYP delegates and other dignitaries present were all introduced. Among the delegates and dignitaries introduced were the Speaker, Nigerian Chapter of the African Youth Parliament, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports amongst others.
Speaking during the induction of the awardee into the AYP Hall of Fame, the Representative of AYP said one of the criteria used at arriving at the winner of the award was the support and mentorship of the youths
“The African youths parliament annually organises the Nelson Mandela Award geared towards the sensitisation of the youths to their roles in Africa’s development and to also award those who have contributed in no small measures towards promoting peace, and youth development. In giving direction and inspiration to the youths in the aspect of maintenance of peace, community service and support to the less privileged, we have recognised Mr. Paqueens Ehiabhi Irabor,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports described the receipient of the award as a dear friend and brother and one he is proud to associate with. He further described him as one who is passionate about youths and people.
In his response to the award, Mr Paqueens Irabor expressed his awe at receiving such an honourable award. This according to him made him feel so surprised considering those who have bagged this award in the past. “Being ranked with people like Dr Afe Babalola, Mr Paul Kagama, General T. Y. Danjuma, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to mention but a few is so surprising. However, this has just further stressed the fact that I have a long way to go in touching peoples lives and leaving a footprint on the sands of time,” he said
In an interview with Ibadan Inisder, Mr Paqueens Irabor said he believes in the instruction in the bible to love everyone, not just those who love us but everyone not minding if the love is returned or not. He described himself as a “LOVEPRENEUR”