Thursday, April 29, 2021

I Have Chosen To Give Them Balls Instead Of Guns------ HRH, Prince Godswill Edward



Not all Nigerians earnestly believe there is a need to entrust the youths with leadership positions; not all Nigerians think Nigerian youths are smart but lack adequate mentorship, funding and facilities. However, one man who earnestly believes in Nigerian youths is Prince Godswill Edward, 7th son and Prince of His Royal Majesty, Ovia Usa 1 of Usumutong Kingdom and the Paramount ruler of Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State; His Royal Majesty Ovia Elder Solomon Osim Edward JP. In this interview, the “King of Youths” talks about his confidence in youths and the need for a leadership shift in Nigeria. 

Let’s meet you, Sir?

My name is Prince Godswill Edward, 7th son and Prince of His Royal Majesty, Ovia usa 1 of Usumutong Kingdom and the Paramount ruler of Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State; His Royal Majesty Ovia Elder Solomon Osim Edward JP. I have done a lot and I have been into a lot over the years and I love the number “7”. This is also my 7th year wedding anniversary and I am blessed with a lot of children. I am an entrepreneur, diplomat, democrat and youth ambassador. I believe that young people should be groomed and given opportunity to lead. I believe so much in enterprising especially for young people. I just love to advocate and impact values on youths. I see myself as the “king of youths”, the prince 7 dynasty.

Why do you love to advocate for youths?

I believe in creating values for people and not just making money. I don’t just want to live for nothing, I want to live and after that be happy that people who synergized with my brands would see it as opportunity to get privileges not because they are from my community, religion or tribe but because you connect with the Prince seven dynasty and become part of me because I believe everyone is part of me. I want to create a dynasty, a legacy that 20 years from now everyone should be able to connect. I believe that every crown of honour that has come upon me is for me to be able to create others. I have chosen to have partners, not boys, girls nor slaves. I want to ride with kings because when one has kings around him it means he is associating with people who have character. Boys would fail, but generals would lead. You don’t go to battles with boys; you go to battle with generals, people who have character and decorum so I am just that guy who has decided not to be limited by size, age or personality but by commitment. I am not a perfect man but I am a man who has always strived for perfection and even in my imperfection I am busy trying to help perfect the lives of others. 

How do you feel being a Prince?

For me, it is exciting. I have rejected a lot of chieftaincy titles and I tell people that I was born with a crown of glory. It was God that crowned me and not man. By all standards I was born into a Royal family. I could remember sitting in the laps of my grandfather at the age of 7 and I could remember asking him if I could be a Prince and he replied me saying that, “He was a lion” and so were his children and children’s children. For generations to shift and dynasties to grow you must build a dynasty that transcends from one generation to another so when you act in life you act knowing that your children will be looked upon or looked at based on how you have lived your life. If our forefathers felt it wise to stretch themselves further, we would not have divisions, insecurity and disharmony in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. So the mistakes of our forefathers are important so I am excited knowing that I am leading a generation and the people around me are being imbedded with the right mindsets knowing that I was born not just as royalty, but that I am growing to become not just that royalty for myself but being able to use my stool and privileges to create opportunities for others. So I am excited when people look up to me.

Do you enjoy leadership roles?

(Smiles)Yes, I love to lead. I don’t lead because I carry my shoulders to sit on a big stool or house but because when your leadership style can affect the lives of others, when you see the positions and privileges you carry as service, though it might look glorious but he who wears the crown knows where it pains him or her. So I am not just looking at the glory that I carry but the glory in service. It means that until you serve, nobody will see you so those around me are people who appreciate my contributions, see me as a role model and people who bring their problems to me for counseling considering that God can give wisdom even to a child or young man and God has been helping me gather and manage the people around me. So I am striving for perfection and I am leading a generation where the old and young people would understand that the new order is to stop looking for complaints so I am excited to be a solution architect, I am excited to solve problems even in the midst of chaos, pressure and storms because no pain, no gain especially when we run away from the price of ultimate sacrifice. In fact, everybody must sacrifice self for others to grow; it must be less of you and more of people. So I am excited to constantly spread my borders and stretch myself for people that are not related to me in any form but because I believe in their visions and dreams and talents and I am able to create platforms that can grow and improve young people. Sometimes I go to places and people run to me and say “bless me” and I am excited to bless people royally, pray for them and I am happy to be an inspiration to others even when I am not perfect but God can raise one up even when he is the least among his colleagues.

What significance do you think a great leader can bring for His/Her people?

When I look at great people who have led in the Bible and even in contemporary times, I see that because of the traits of a great leader in them, the world can now connect to them. For instance, the world can now connect with Otueke because God raised a great leader among them. That shows capacity. People talk about Jesus Christ of Nazareth because God brought a king in human form from Nazareth. So I want to be able to ensure that I am a king not because my father is a king but because I believe that within the kingdom of my father, those that believe in me have carved a niche for myself to drive leadership that is practical and not for people to see and refer to me as just a king but to refer to me as one that offers a sense of belonging, community services, and a bridge of hope not just for the young, old, rich or poor but a bridge for equality where everyone who come across me drinks from the wealth of privilege and opportunities I possess. Besides, the opportunities are not just for me, I am just a caretaker of Gods privileges. If I pause because I have a limitation, it means that when the people move and live me behind I become a failure but when I move not minding the circumstances, people will move and celebrate the victory. We need to build harmony but that starts from leading ourselves, give people hope which then helps give others the synergy to come together. We are supposed to build Nigeria not as a geographic location but as a people. The people are the society. Usefulness is youthfulness so I strive to be very useful now that I am a young person.

What would you consider as the role of traditional rulers in nation building?

We must go back to the old to answer this question. We have a system of leadership and culture even before colonization. Although it is good to have cultural diplomacy but it is wrong to lose what we have. Life is give and take. We are losing almost everything that makes us; we are losing our true values as a people because we copy a lot from the western world. The traditional institution has a lot to play, they must be empowered because they are the people with a direct relationship with the society. They are the real community leaders and although we might be exposed in the urban areas but everybody come from somewhere. So the traditional institution is the real agent of nation building. Therefore our traditional institutions must not be politicized and should be given every necessary form of support and respect. We must be more African because you cannot be patriotic when you have lost your sense of decency and essence in life. We must go back to letting others know that we come from a society and for you to be a Nigerian you have to believe it in spirit and in truth. For the kings, it is important they understand they have been given trust by the people, spirits and traditions of the land as custodians of the nation to harmonize peace and build the society so I still believe that the best way to build a society is to empower traditional institutions because traditional institutions are the real agents of nation building.

You have a football club, what inspired the creation of that club?

You need to understand that sports in general are not just energetic but also a craft and that the energy of young people if not properly utilized would destroy the society. When we build the youth we build the future. We have stadia that have become platforms for political rallies and crusades. Those stadia are not opened again and we don’t even encourage the youths who play without proper boots and in dusty grounds. So I believe that for you to take guns off the street you must strategically empower young people; for me, I have chosen to give them balls instead of guns.

Some people think Nigerian youths cannot properly lead. What is your reaction to that?

Youths make mistakes because they have gone to school and there are no jobs but both the youths must understand that they don’t need the government to become self-sufficient. They must know that they are leaders and then for the government, organizations, individuals when you are blessed, the blessing should not be a reserve for you but for the society. We must all come together to giving values to the society in exchange for the vices that were given to them many years also. It means that we must give youths the basis they need which is education, all forms of education such as sports, agriculture, skill acquisition, etc. If we want to pass leadership to young people we must equip them so I am supporting giving balls instead of guns, I am supporting skill acquisition and giving music because when you build character and friends, families and communities find favour in you, they appreciate you for what you do. The youths of Nigeria have the energy for greatness but have not been encouraged nor given some level of belief. So I am calling on us to encourage young people and propel them to greatness. We must convert negative energy to positive energy to avoid youths seeking for fast lanes which are negative vices. I don’t want to be the “talking” guy; I want to practice what I preach. When all of us are talking and nobody is building, the nation would just be built by the speeches that we made but no actions implemented.

How do you think we can solve the problem of insecurity in Nigeria?

It is the same thing I have been talking about. The easiest thing is to empower young people. We need to initiate more orientation for young people and all kinds of youths. We need to engage them in sports, skill acquisition, education, pay for publicity for them, create platforms for them to express themselves and give them values. When you give people value they will have too much value that they would not need to go into negative vices and I can do these if you bring me on board, give me a good platform and equip me. My plan is to see that 75% of prisons are converted to development centers because a prison is a correctional centre, however some people still go to prison and return hardened. We must build everything to promote local content development. Imagine every past Governor, House of representative member, President and Politician saw the need to empower their people with a football pitch, own a football club and encourage young people to participate in sports, it would help bring peace, excitement and security. Just imagine the Governor of Sokoto State challenging the governor of Cross River State to a football match and the governors are leading the match. Imagine PDP playing against APC, it would lead to sportsmanship, positive engagement and cohesion. Our resources should be channeled at building and empowering the youths because the real resource which is youth development leads to natural resource in human development that you cannot compare with any natural resources. We should not impose leadership on youths. Our parents should not force musicians to become medical doctors; we must understand our children, study their emotions and give them leadership that connects with the desires of their people.


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