Ben Agande, Kaduna
The Minister of Water Resources, Adamu Suleiman has decried the skewed admission policy of the nation’s unity schools which is no longer in tandem with the vision of its founding leaders as avenues for unifying the country’s diverse ethnic groups.
Speaking with journalists shortly after attending the 36th Plenary/AGM of the Unity Schools Old Students Association(USOSA) at the Federal Government College, Kaduna, the Minister said unity schools, no longer promote the unity of the country because admissions into such schools are now skewed in favour of catchment area rather than national unity.
According to him, those who attended unity schools in the past had people from different parts of the country but it’s no longer so.
“There is no state that I go to in this country that I don’t see my classmates that will host me and be ready to give me his bedroom to sleep. We are very happy with the concept.
“But we need to redraw the map we can go back to the original concept of unity schools. These days, the admission is a little bit skewed towards putting emphasis on catchment areas” he said.
The minister advocated a return to the admission policy of the past so as to engender national unity cohesion.
In his speech the President-General, Unity Schools Students Association(USOSA), Mr Lawrence Wilbert said greater attention should be paid to the girl-child education in the country.
He said “Just yesterday, in Lagos, one of our member associations, Queens
College Old Girls Association, in collaboration with a growing number of partners, launched an initiative called “The Girl Force Movement”, a movement that respects, validates and encourages the girl-child, and enables her to have opportunities to be who they want to be without constraint, scripting or hindrance. I call on all USOSANs to join in support, and encourage the movement,” he said.
Wilbert also stressed the need for citizens participation in good
governance while also urging Nigerian leaders to tinker with the many defects in the 1999 constitution and make obvious changes that would lead to cutting down the cost of governance in the country.
According to him, the Principle of Citizen Participation in governance holds that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
Also, a member of USOSA and former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi decried with he described as “over monetization in Nigeria”, saying that Nigerian workers should always hold government accountable rather than always demanding for “money, money.”
He urged Nigerian workers to place a priority on good governance and accountability
Makarfi said, “I had challenged, even before I became a governor, the Labour leaders I knew that you people begin to talk of money, money, money, you will end up with money that is not going to be useful.
“Rather, hold government accountable. Demand for good governance, demand for infrastructure, demand for security, demand a lot of things that are expected from government, a living wage which will be minimal.
“But if you are always asking for money, somebody gives you N10 and takes away N30 for example, how do you benefit?
“We operate in a manner that should I provide for free education, water, security, roads, everything, instead of government to provide for those. That is a major mistake. We must stop monetization of everything in this country, then we will begin a path to greatness.
“When you hear of wage increase in serious economies, it is by 1, 2, 2.3 per cent because it is not about the money, it is about the government should provide.
“But here we are in Nigeria, we have freed the government from providing those things and said no, give me, I can provide for myself when it is not possible.”