*Says it’s unfortunate that Nigeria is celebrating people with criminal past
*Nigeria busy giving awards to those that ‘ve stolen country dried, he adds
2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, has said he was looking forward to a Nigeria where only those who know their classmates and have good and undoubted academic certificates can be leaders.
This was because he regretted that the country was busy celebrating people with criminal pasts rather than those that have excelled in their chosen careers, vowing to change the narratives if availed of the opportunity of leading the country.
The former Anambra State Governor who spoke yesterday, in Abuja, while delivering a keynote address at the graduation ceremony of students of Pacesetters Academy, Abuja, emphasized the need for the country to invest more in education as according to him, “without education, there cannot be meaningful development.”
“The politician, who said his presidential ambition was alive, said,”In the next Nigeria, you will not be a leader unless you attended a school, unless you know your classmates unless you have a good certificate whereby if you bring your certificate, nobody will doubt it.”
Obi, while also noting that education was the most important thing that any nation needed, said “What differentiates development and underdeveloped was education.”
“For me, education is the most important thing that any nation needs. What differentiates developed and underdeveloped is education. It is the foundation. Even when you go out and people tell you about measures of development being hinged on the human development index and they tell you it is education, health and per capital income,I will tell you that of all these three, health is about education,if you don’t have a well-educated society, you can’t have a healthy society,” he said.
Noting also that,” You can’t put people out of poverty without education”, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, said “The more people are educated, the more they pull themselves out of poverty and that is critical. “
He spoke further:”The more you put people out of poverty, the more you reduce humanity and you can’t do that unless you invest in education. The more people are educated, the more they put themselves out of poverty and that is critical. You can’t have 20 million out-of-school children and think of development tomorrow. We must have to invest in education.
“If you follow 2022 world population of countries, the population of Norway, the population of Island, the population of Singapore and the population of Dubai, if you put the population of these big successful countries together, we are talking of the population of 19.7 million and we are talking of 20 million out-of-school children, so we are more than population of these four successful, thriving, respectable developed
countries put together out of school. So imagine what it will be if we invest in education. So investment in education is critical.,” he said.
“We will invest in public schools, for us to invest in public schools. Nigeria is a country that says they have universal basic education
“As a governor of Anambra State, I did not have what we called private schools or public schools because the children are not private, they remain our own children. So when people tell me about private schools, I would say well, it doesn’t matter to me. We now equipped public schools with computers, when I gave it to them, I gave it to private schools as well.
“You can’t have 20 million out-of-school children and think of development tomorrow. We must have to invest in education.
“If you follow 2022 world population of countries, the population of Norway, the population of Island, the population of Singapore and the population of Dubai, if you put the population of these big successful countries together, we are talking of the population of 19.7 million and we are talking of 20 million out-of-school children in Nigeria.
“So, we are more than the population of these four successful, thriving, respectable developed
countries put together! (out of school). So imagine what it will be if we invest in education. So investment in education is critical .”
Obi said,”As a governor of Anambra State, I did not have what we called private schools or public schools because the children are not private, they remain our own children.”
“So when people tell me about private school, I would say well, it doesn’t matter to me. We now equipped public schools with computers. When I gave it to them, I gave it to private schools as well.
“So for me,if I have the opportunity, education will have the highest amount in our budget and our teachers will be celebrated because the most critical components of education are the teachers. They are the ones that our children will take after, they are the ones that talk about discipline but today, we are not celebrating them. Nobody celebrates them but we are busy celebrating and giving national awards to those who have stolen the country dry, we’re busy giving awards to those who should not be part of us. And we are not celebrating the teachers. Things have to change.”
He tasked teachers not to be discouraged by the current development.
“Do not be discouraged because people don’t regard or celebrate you. Know that what you are doing is noble. It is important for the society.
“We can’t have people unless we have people with the right character, we can’t have people unless we have people with the right behaviour, we can’t have people unless we have people with the right discipline.
“As you move to the next stage, know that we want you to be in a different Nigeria, we want you to be part of Nigeria where people who are dropouts will come back to be part of the new Nigeria. Know that the only certificate, the only thing you need is good education. To remain a good person, remain disciplined person, remain truthful, and always do the right thing. It is easy to say that only bad people succeed in Nigeria but please, do not be part of them. That is what we are trying to change,” he added
Earlier, in his welcome message, the Chairman, Pacesetters Schools, Abuja, Barr. Kenneth Imansuangbon tasked the graduands to always strive to be good ambassadors of the school.
Imansuangbon said: “We have trained them well. They should go out and represent the country as ambassadors, they are the future of Nigeria.
“Nigeria needs change and I believe the training they have received puts them in a better position to represent this country because they are the future of Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Muhammad Sunusi lamented the state of education in the country.
The monarch, who recounted his days as a student of one of the unity schools in the country, urged the government to restore the standard of public schools in the country.
He said: “It is quite unfortunate that we have to send our children to private schools in Nigeria. I was a product of Federal Government College, Kano. But we have to ask ourselves why the standard of education in Nigeria is degrading. We have to ask ourselves that. Something has to be done.”
The Emir charged the chairman of Pacesetters schools, Abuja to reset the standard of public schools in Edo State when he wins next year’s governorship election.
“I was told Barr Kenneth is contesting for the governorship of Edo State. It will be a good opportunity and an advantage to the educational system in Nigeria because I believe he will do something about the public schools in Edo State which will be a model to other states because education is the key. Without education, we are going nowhere.”
BREAKING NEWS: PDP’s Diri Wins Bayelsa Gov Election
The incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, has been declared the winner of the State governorship election held last Saturday.
The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, announced Diri winner of the poll at the collation centre of the election on Monday.
Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 110,108 votes while the Labour Party polled 905 votes.
Plateau: Protesters Storm S’ Court Over Sack Of Four PDP Members From NASS
Over 1000 protesters, on Monday, besieged the Supreme Court to register their displeasure over the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sacked four members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State, from the National Assembly, based on a pre-election dispute.
The placard and banner-wielding groups, under the aegis of Coalition for Justice in Africa, CJA, submitted a protest letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
According to the protesters, the appellate court, by its judgement, thwarted the wish of electorates in Plateau state, when it declared candidates that lost the National Assembly elections that held on February 25, as winners of the legislative seats.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest letter was submitted to the CJN, the National President of the CJA, Dr. Daniel Okwa, maintained that the judgement of the appellate court was capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.
He said the group was at the apex court to seek the intervention of the CJN, alleging that the verdicts that removed all the PDP federal lawmakers were influenced by some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The protest letter, which was obtained by Vanguard, read in part: “The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the judgment of the Appeal Court in Abuja is a case of injustice, else, how could one explain a situation where lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) would boast and predict the outcome of the Court of Appeal judgment even before the pronouncement.
“This is unacceptable and indicates that the justice regime in Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs. What happened in Plateau State is an aberration of immeasurable proportion. There is a distinction between a pre-election matter and a post-election matter.
“The Supreme Court has established this fact on several occasions. It is now a wonder why the Appeal Court would act otherwise and in a despicable manner that tends to truncate our nascent democracy.
“The Coalition for Truth and Justice entirely condemns the actions of the justices of the Appeal Court that sat in Abuja. They displayed insensitivity to the electoral choices of the people. This is a worrisome trend that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must address.
“This is on the heels that the Judiciary, the world over, is regarded as the last hope of the commoner. This presupposes that it is the only place the commoner can get justice. The function of the Judiciary is not to twist the truth or fabricate facts but to interpret the law. The consequence of the interpretation of the law is justice.
“However, what played out in Plateau state negates the Judiciary’s position as the common’s last hope. The Judiciary is for sale to the highest bidder in Nigeria, if such positions could be taken without recourse to the implication of such on the psychological state of the people.
“The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this protest to drive the point that justice in Nigeria should not be reserved for a section of the country or any political party. What happened in Plateau should not be allowed to stand or repeat itself. The implication of such is that the reputation of the judicial arm of government would be eroded.”
It will be recalled that the appellate court had on November 7, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, okayed the nullification of the election of a Senator and three members of the House of Representatives in the state that emerged on the platform of the PDP.
The panel based its decision on failure of the PDP to fully comply with a court that was made in 2022, which it said directed the party to conduct congress in the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.
It, therefore, held that though the lawmakers won their respective seats during the National Assembly election that held on February 25, all the scores that were credited them, amounted to wasted votes.
It ordered that candidates that got the second majority lawful votes at the election, should be sworn in as winners of the legislative seats.
Canada’s Abuja, Lagos Visa Centres Open – High Commission
The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has said its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open for the processing of immigration, refugee and citizenship applications.
The Canadian High Commission had on Tuesday announced the suspension of operations in its Abuja office following a fire incident at its generator house, which claimed two lives on Monday.
Nigerians had expressed fear that the operations suspension would hamper visa application processes.
But in a statement posted on its X handle on Thursday, the Canadian High Commission clarified that its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open and operational.
In the statement by its public affairs staff, Demilade Kosemani, the commission said, “As we continue to mourn the passing of our dear colleague from the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, please note the following information below:
“Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada clients: processing of applications continues. Regardless of the suspension of operations at the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, the Visa Application Centres in Abuja and Lagos remain open.”
Meanwhile, a travel agency, , TMT Travels and Tours Limited, has sympathised with the Canadian High Commission over the Monday tragic fire incident.
In a statement on Thursday the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Collins Onukwubiri, said, “We at TMT Travels and Tours Limited shares in the grief and sense of loss of the Canadian embassy in Abuja. The partial burning of the Canadian embassy in Abuja and the death of two workers there was most unfortunate.
“Canada, as a major player in the Nigeria’s travel and tours business, is an integral player in Nigeria’s economy. We know how devastating this unfortunate incident is to them but we want to say that we stand with them in this time and always. We specially condole with the families of the two persons who died in the process.”