Active political participation by alumni associations of Institutions remains an indispensable means of correcting the poor trajectory of education and disunity in Nigeria.
This is according to the President, Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), Micheal Magaji, who maintains that rather than lamenting the assumed poor education system in Nigeria, graduates of great institutions must embrace the next political dispensation to change the narrative.
Magaji also stated that education in Nigeria can be restored to its former glory and unity restored if stakeholders develop an interest in politics and bring in the diversity they were taught as students to foster unity.
During a presentation at the 39th Annual General Meeting of USOSA, with the theme: Project Nigeria Unites: “Unity and Good Governance, Panacea for Sustainable Development,” Magaji said, Nigeria cannot be what it should be without Nigerians.
He said many Nigerians who are products of Federal Unity Colleges were nurtured amid peers from various parts of the country, trained to accept diversity and thrive among different ethnicities all in an effort to create a true unified Nigeria.
Buttressing his position for political inclusion, he said ”when we take into cognisance the diversity, the spread, the strive, I dare say the tribal discord going on, there’s no better person to bring out Nigeria than a Nigerian. It can not fall from above”.
“This is why Unity schools have decided to promote the Nigeria Unite agenda. Let us be who we are, and for once be who we are in the market, what I mean is expressing ourselves, exemplifying that unity in purpose, that unity in understanding across tribes and religions. We can then get the Nigeria that we are meant to be.
“We can not create effective change in our country Nigeria without playing in the political space. We need to get our people who understand and appreciate diversity into the system and let them make decisions that unite us.
“Once you can control the politics, we can now start the Nigeria that should be with regards to education. Education needs funding, and education needs the right teachers and the right administrators.
Captain Ibrahim Mshelia while corroborating Magaji’s stand said the detribalised nature of old students of unity colleges put them in better stead to play active roles in the political space.
He said the idea of unity schools is to unite Nigeria and that it appears the unity schools failed the country because they stopped fostering the spirit of unity, even among themselves.
”You must first unite before you can have good governance but what we have been having contemporarily is disunity our coming together now should serve as a wake-up call, dust up the wardrobes, dust up the desks and face it.
“Therefore we have woken up now and once we are able to embrace power, we will be able to change things. USOSA means to do this. We are a detribalised people, the only set of Nigerians that are detribalised and we do not have anything about religion, we are all one people. For example, I am a Muslim from Borno State but my wife is a Christian from Asaba Delta State, that could only happen because I’m a USOSAN, we are thought to know that we are all first Nigerians before anything else.
“The 2023 election is a determining factor that we are all bleeding, the people in government, the people not in government we are all bleeding, so the time is ripe to take pro-unity philosophy and ideology and move forward and elect leaders that can do the job not because they are Muslims or Christians or they have been doing it before. Nigerians should now unite and vote for credible people, “Mshelia stated.