Oyo Youth of the Year Award: Mr. Rain Criticizes Project

The recently concluded “Oyo Youth of the Year Award” has been criticized by a popular Ibadan pidgin broadcaster and thespian Ojobaro Babatunde, well known as “Mister Rain, says it is a good idea but the idea implementation didn’t hit the roof.

The statement reads: A few weeks ago, the 100 most influential personalities and brands in Oyo State event was held and as far as I can tell it was a colorful event and one could also say a very successful event.

For 5 years (I stand corrected), Ibadan Media has done a tremendously good job in identifying persons and brands who have upheld the values of hard work dedicated to self-growth, career advancement and concern for humanity and for those years, it has served as motivation for other people to do better in creating values, be more creative and generally helping the immediate environment become a den of amazing people who just strive for nothing but excellence.

This year, the appellation Oyo Youth of the Year tagged ‘King of Boys’ and Oyo Man of the Year was added alongside the most influential personalities.

Giving the antecedents of past events, one ordinarily should be excited about how this might turn out but it turned out to be something many weren’t actually proud of.
How do I mean?

Having been a recipient of one of the most influential personalities in Oyo State in 2017 and 2020 respectively, I observed that the criteria was to have nominations of persons and brands. Those nominations are submitted to a selected set of jury who look into the works of the nominated persons and brands in the past year and then judging by what the persons were able to achieve and how effective they were to human development and societal growth, a final list is released to the public. A very laudable approach if you ask me.
However, the case seem to be different in selecting ‘Oyo Youth of the Year’ and ‘Oyo Man of the Year’ Award.

These appellations aren’t just appellations but in summary, stand for the values every indigenes and residents of Oyo State stand for. If someone is tagged the ‘Youth of the Year’ it means the person is the face of the state, it means the person’s actions or inactions represent almost everything the state stands for. That kind of appellations shouldn’t be subjected to who has the highest number of fans or one who can mobilize more or someone who has more money.

I carefully observed the voting process and the pattern in which the award was based. I dare say that for an appellations of that magnitude, the process was flawed.
The process of having to vote multiple times and for a fee will only end up celebrating anybody who can get more N50 votes not necessarily who is more deserving and that is a big flaw.

The criteria for choosing nominees was interesting because looking at the list of nominees for both awards, one will agree that every single person on that list is deserving of that appellation but what happened to setting up a jury to look into their personalities and their brands and their works over the years.

What have they done to improve humanity?
What have they done to contribute to the GDP of the host state?
What have they done to solve immediate needs of the community?
What have they done to motivate others to be great?
What does their resume look like?
What comparative analysis technique was employed to run a shortlist?

You can’t subject a character that will be the face of every Youths in a State as large as Oyo to begging for votes and eventually crowned just because the person had more N50 votes.
The idea is good, the implementation is flawed and I think if this is going to continue and want to enjoy good patronage in the coming years, the organizers should do better for credibility and accountability.

While the event may have been colorful, the idea implementation didn’t hit the roof.

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