Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has reiterated the importance of peace and unity for the strengthening of the Nigeria’s democracy and consolidating national development.
Adamawa state born politician also identified the importance of education in the reshaping of the psyche of Nigerians especially the youths, thus tasking federal and state governments to increase attention and funding of education for the empowerment of the future generation.
Speaking at a dinner to mark the National Convention and Annual Re-Union of the Federal Government College Okigwe Old Boys Association, FEGOCOOKOSA, in Abuja on Saturday, Atiku who is the Grand Patron of the association encouraged members of the association to reciprocate the educational empowerment they received from the school by assisting in the provision of amenities to the school, individually or collectively.
Represented by Media Aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of FEGOCOOKOSA, the former vice president said that the essence of establishing the school and other unity schools across the nation is to foster unity and integration among various ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.
He urged them not to lose sight of the special and crucial historical role of the unity schools in the quest for unity and peace of Nigeria.
“The unique thing about your alumni association is that your membership is made up of persons from all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, as a result of the attention paid to the admission process to reflect the nation’s diversity and prepare the young ones for life in diverse but united country.”
He announced that Atiku has pledged to contribute N20 million to the association endowment fund, out of which he had released the first tranche of N10 million.
In response, the National President of the association, Mr. Okey Chikwendu, informed the gathering that the association had provided the Information Communication Technology, ICT, centre and the Water Reticulation Project for students hostel with a 35KVA generator.
He added that the association also lobbied the former Minister of State for Education and the current governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, to build and equip an e-library in the school.
Speaking in his own capacity as the FEGOCOKOSA’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ibe identified the need to improve the funding of the school, with emphasis on retraining of the teachers in accordance with the technological innovations across the world.
“Some of the teachers are not in tune with modern issues; we need to retrain the teachers and the curriculum to fit into the realities in the world, especially with the speedy penetration of internet across our localities. The curriculum used in teaching students five years ago ought not to be used for today’s students because it must have been outdated or overtaken by events.
“We should not just concentrate on grammar schools; we also need to focus on technical education to develop skilled manpower for the nation. We have observed that funding is another issue that must be addressed to meet up with modern challenges.”
Delivering a lecture, Chairman, Editorial Board, Thisday Newspapers, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, submitted that a functional society was highly dependent on public schools, thus expressing displeasure that public schools had been neglected, while the elites are left with the choice of taking their wards to private schools.
The convention provided a platform for election of the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, as the National Secretary of the association.

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