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Why Nigeria must remain united in diversity, eschew violence – USOSA

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Old students of unity schools in Nigeria have condemned the various agitations for secession in the country, saying the clamour for separation negates the vision and purpose of the founding fathers.

They have asked the federal government to do all within its power to reverse the trend, taking advantage of Nigeria’s cultural diversity to promote only the values that bond the country and its people.

While decrying the violence by secessionist groups, the old students under the aegis of Unity Schools Old Students Association, USOSA, said the agitations are a sign of a nation that has lost its values for unity and peaceful co-existence.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of Nigerian Unity Schools, Uyi Akpata, speaking during the association’s 38th plenary session in Abuja, suggested ways to keep the country united and secured in the face of threats.

He asked the government to bridge the widening gap of peaceful coexistence, saying it was sad that the country’s security constraints have affected the trust Nigerians have for each other as it was in the past.

Akpata lamented that parents were no longer interested in sending their children to other states for schooling while tribalism has continued to permeate the society.

He, however, advised old students who acquired education in any of the 104 Unity Colleges across the country to project their virtues of tolerance with which they lived and studied among people of different tribes in their school days.

During an interactive session with members to find solutions to Nigeria’s problems, the President-General, USOSA, Lawrence Wilbert tasked the old students to step up peace advocacy in their various communities, states and places of work.

He said part of the ways to douse the tensions raging across Nigeria was for citizens and the government to prioritize history in the educational curriculum.

Speaking on the theme, ”Role of Unity Schools Old Students Association in Uniting Nigeria”, Wilbert said both the government and old students must find ways of leveraging cultural diversity and promote only the history that bonds Nigerians as a united nation.

”A people who do not know where they coming from will not appreciate their reason for being together or where they are going to, he said”.

Some participants at the plenary discouraged Nigerians from undue affiliations to their states of origin and tribe, saying someone that has lived all his life in a state should be able to claim it as their state even if they are Hausa or Igbo or Yoruba.

Others insisted that the federal government must return history to the curriculum to give the younger generation a sense of patriotism, saying young people have failed to manage diversity in all ramifications.

“Those of us from the older generation who were exposed to education through these unity colleges, married into other tribes and today some people are calling for secession if Nigeria is divided where will we fall into,” a participant asked.

The Nigerian Unity School system, created in 1966 by Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was a deliberate effort by the government to foster unity among citizens, irrespective of tribe and tongue.

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BREAKING: Lagos govt shuts Dowen College in Lekki over Sylvester Oromoni’s death

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Sylvester Oromoni

Lagos State Government has ordered the closure of Dowen College in Lekki over the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

The school will remain shut pending the outcome of an investigation.

Oromoni was allegedly murdered by students and there are fears that the culprits are on the run or left the country.

Gory details of the act have sparked outrage on social media with Nigerians demanding the arrests of the perpetrators.

On Friday, Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo announced the seal of the college.

A terse statement by the ministry’s spokesman, Ganiu Lawal, quoted her as saying state officials met with the school management and staff.

Adefisayo appealed for calm, saying “no effort will be spared in getting to the root of the incident”.

Sylvester Oromoni

BREAKING: Lagos govt shuts Dowen College in Lekki over Sylvester Oromoni’s death

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2021 World Disability Day: We suffer discrimination to get employment in Kogi – PWDs

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People With Disabilities (PWDs) have cried out over discrimination in employment for Ministries Department and Agencies in Kogi State.

Kogi State Chairman of PWDs, Comrade Ibrahim Arome, who disclosed this on Friday against the backdrop of the 2021 World Disability Day lamented that many of his members have been denied employment opportunities even when they have the capacity to deliver.

Arome, who noted that there is ability in disability, called on the Kogi State Government to implement the disability rights law to address some of these challenges affecting his people.

He added that there is a need for the government to establish the disability commission to enable PWDs to have a sense of belonging in the state.

Arome explained further that PWDs lack mobility in the state stressing that the special schools across the state have been abandoned by the government thereby making education difficult for their members as the existing public schools in Kogi State are not accessible.

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“We use this year’s celebration to appeal to the executive Governor Alh. Yahaya Bello kindly implement the disability right law and establish a disability commission in Kogi state. Governor Yahaya Bello should kindly provide PWD’s with mobility (Bus) because to our special being, mobility is not for fashion but a necessity.

“We are also appealing that the Government should ensure that all the MDAs in Kogi state obeys and adheres to the disability Act 2018 and reserve at least 5% of every employment, empowerment and appointment for PWDs,” he said.

“The Kogi state Governor kindly gives immediate order through the appropriate quotas for the renovation of special skills schools across the state and equip them with the learning special materials and manpower to help reduce the risk of our special members traveling to other states to acquire education”.

In his lecture titled “Bringing out the abilities in persons with disability”, the Chairman, Southwest Nigeria Association of the Deaf, Mr. Sulaiman Akinremi, said more than 500 million people in the world are disabled as a consequence of mental, physical, or sensory impairment.

Akinremi said, “In the majority of these countries, it is estimated that 1 in 10 persons has a physical, mental or sensory impairment and at least 25% of the entire population is adversely affected by the presence of disabilities.

“It is also estimated that at least 75% percent of these people live in developing countries and living in areas where they do not receive the services needed to enable them to overcome their limitations. Disabled people in the developing world often face more acute barriers than those in developed nations mostly those living in Isolated rural areas in the developing world. In some countries 20% of the population are disabled.

“It can be estimated that, when disabled people’s relatives are included, 50% of the population is affected by disability. In addition, disabled people are the poorest of the poor. They often do not have access to adequate medical services and where such services exist, the medical personnel lacks the experience of their needs”.

He noted that any country or society that is on the path to greatness will need to take a pragmatic shift in its orientation about persons with disabilities and it will greatly influence whether persons with disabilities become assets or liabilities.

“PWDs faced a lot of challenges but they are not limited by their disabilities except those placed in their ways by government and society. Though people may doubt the capacity of PWDs to prove their abilities, they have often proved them wrong. They are able to take negativities and turn them into motivation and drive with their different abilities.

“The world is witnessing a rapid transformation in thoughts, concepts, and behaviours aimed at bringing about development. Government and society cannot afford to be left behind by clinging to outdated ideas or concepts inhibiting transformation by undervaluing the particularly important and leading roles PWDs have to play,” he added.

Earlier in her address, the Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba said the present administration has continued to give priority to PWDs in the state stressing that over 2000 People With Disabilities benefited from the N10,000 COVID-19 palliative in 2021.

Represented by the Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr. Aleni Emmanuel Allenclay, the Commissioner said, “Persons with disabilities are a very important segment of our population that requires special treatment.

“The Administration of new direction agenda under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello is working assiduously towards giving a new liaise of life to PWDs in the area of education, health care, empowerment, and legal support system as well as main streams them into the State Development Plan”.

DAILY POST reports that, on September 23rd, 2013, the UN General Assembly convened the historic high-level meeting on disability and development aimed at creating a fully disabled agenda inclusive society.

The 2021 World Disability Day has the theme “Leadership and Participation of PWDs towards an inclusive accessible and sustainable post-covid-19 world”.

DAILY POST also reports that the World Disability Day in Kogi State which was organized by, the leprosy mission Nigeria, Sightsavers, had in attendance, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prod James Apam, Kogi State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,(NSCDC), and the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State.

The day is celebrated on December 3rd every year.

2021 World Disability Day: We suffer discrimination to get employment in Kogi – PWDs

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US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

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A United States-based medical foundation with a branch in Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Adeel Foundation, also known as Shahnaz Shakeel Foundation, has donated a fully-equipped ambulance to the Benue State Government for use by Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

A representative of the Foundation in Nigeria, Mr. Terver Atsewe, who presented the ambulance to Governor Samuel Ortom Thursday, 2nd December 2021 at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi, said it is to be used in conveying sick people from the IDP camps to the hospitals.

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Mr. Atsewe who stated that the ambulance was equipped with the latest medical facilities such as gas cylinders and other first-aid facilities assured that more of such vehicles would be given to the state.

Receiving the ambulance, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to the foundation for the donation and assured that the ambulance would be utilized judiciously for the benefit of the IDPs.

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior led the representative of the foundation to the Governor for the presentation.

US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

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