Naomi Oloyede Photo credit: UNODC's Doha Declaration Global Programme @DohaDeclaration
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11-year-old Nigerian Naomi Oloyede delivers impressive speech at the Education for Justice conference in Austria

Nigerian junior high student, Naomi Oloyede who was selected to represent her country at the “The Education for Justice (E4J), High Level conference on Corruption” received a standing ovation from the over 200 global stakeholders in attendance for her rousing speech.

Naomi Oloyede, an 11 year-old  junior high school student is an ambassador of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in her school. She was spotted in a debate on “How to combat corruption in Nigeria,” and selected by the NGO Step Up for Social Development and Empowerment  in collaboration with United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to represent her home country at a High-Level Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Comfort Oloyede, Naomi’s mother and chaperone to the “The Education for Justice (E4J), High-Level Conference on Corruption” told Pulse Nigeria, “the event allowed policymakers from Ministries of Education and Justice, educators and academia, to build bridges and propose innovative ways to empower the future generation of change-makers”.

As a representative for children at the conference that focused on Education for the Rule of Law, the 11-year-old used her opportunity to urge leaders and policymakers towards action.

In her speech that received a standing ovation, Oloyede started by describing the stark reality of today’s world saying, “In the world, we live in corruption and organised crime has been the order of the day. Hardly days pass by without us hearing news on corruption. What to do to fight corruption? As a child I will resist the temptation of peer pressure, I will learn how to say no to wrongdoings, I will quickly exclude myself from groups planning or committing crime in my society and I will report to the authorities”.

Read: Sierra Leone: Corruption and the Church in Africa, a cosy mess

She also spoke about her hopes for the future, saying: “As children, we want to grow up in a place where there is peace, where there is power and where the rule of law is respected”.

Oloyede concluded her speech by calling for action saying, “The future of the children and the youth is in the hands of our policymakers. I want to plead with you to join hands together to make our world a better, safe and inclusive place”.

Speaking to Pulse Nigeria about the experience, the young policy prodigy said, “I want to thank God for this opportunity. I want to thank my parents, teachers and school authority, for their good supports given to me, which assisted me to qualify for this event”.

“The speech I gave attracted a standing ovation from everybody there. I was proud of myself and my country, Nigeria, which I represented.” She added “I said the future of the children and the youth are in the hands of policymakers. I added that the youth ought to join hands together to make the world a better place to stay in the future”.

Watch the full video here:

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