Gov. Mu’azu Babaginda Aliyu
By Uchechukwu Nnaike
The Exam Ethics Marshals International said it would confer its highest award, ‘The 2012 Exam Ethics Marshals Africa Award for Exemplary Leadership’ on the Governor of Niger State, who doubles as Chairman of Northern Governor’s Forum, Mu’azu Babaginda Aliyu, for demonstrating that the philosophy of servant leadership could be successfully practised in Africa.
The organisation would also confer the ‘Exam Ethics Marshals Life Time Achievement Award’ on former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Sarah Sosan for outstanding and sustained services to education.
Other awards include best practices in university education award to be conferred on University of Cape Town, South Africa, Cuttington University, Liberia and Presbyterian University, Ghana.
The award for outstanding services to education through the print media would be conferred on Rotimi Oyekanmi of the Guardian Newspaper; Collins Edomaruse of Thisday Newspaper and Chika Abanobi of Sun Newspapers. The award in the television category would go to Ralph Awornyo of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. In the radio category, Volta Premier Radio Station and Mrs. Kikelomo Ipekoya of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria would be honoured.
Awards in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) category would go to Zenith Bank and 1-4CUS Nigeria Limited, an ICT company that provides educational portals, while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria would receive a special presentation as the ‘Best Exam Ethics State of the Decade (2000-2010) in Nigeria’.
A statement signed by the Secretary, International Award Committee and Country Director, Exam Ethics Marshals International, Ghana, Kofi Ashiboe Mensah, said the awards would be presented during the 2012 Exam Ethics Marshals International Conference and Awards, scheduled to hold at Ramada Coco Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana from December 10-14, 2012.
It stated that 23 awards would be presented in 13 categories and that the awards were keenly contested in each category because a total of 243 nominations were received from various African countries.
Commenting on the qualities of some of the awardees, it said: “The governor demystified power. He dropped the appellation of ‘His Excellency’, which he replaced with ‘The Chief Servant’. He interacts and reports directly to the people through Jama’a forum. He banned tinted vehicles and made public the telephone numbers of public officers, including his own. Dr Aliyu supported his view that education is the foundation of development with generous investments, despite resource challenges confronting the state. Many African leaders have a lot to learn from a true servant leader.”
Extolling Sosan, the statement said: “Contrary to the practise of many African politicians of never going back to their profession once they tasted public office, Sosan returned to education after her tour of duty of high performance as deputy governor and commissioner for education.”
School’s Talent Show Emphasises National Unity
Pacesetters Academy, Abuja recently held a talent show where students displayed their skills. The major message of the show, which was organised as part of the end of year festivities of the school, was the need for unity among all Nigerians, irrespective of religious and ethnic differences. Damilola Oyedele reports
As the nation grapples with its cultural diversity, which has caused a lot of rancour and disaffection among the citizenry, experts on peace matters have called for a public re-orientation for the realisation of the strengths and potentials of the country’s diversity.
In the spirit of unity, Pacesetters Academy, Abuja, as part of activities to mark the end of the year, recently organised a talent hunt, where students in its primary and secondary school exhibited their skills to the admiration of their parents, friends and other guests.
The central message of the event, ‘Unity in Nigeria’s Diversity’ was not lost on the audience, a fashion parade was organised to display the culture of the various ethnic groups, especially those considered as the minorities; the students also performed a unifying dance to show that the country could be united in spite of its diversities.
Also, some Muslim students recited the Quran with a message urging Nigerians to uphold the ideals of Islam as a religion of peace, neighbourliness and love; a religion whose adherents should pursue peace as a way of life, as national development could only happen in an environment of peace and tranquillity.
Christmas carols were also rendered to preach the message of love, which Christ brought to the world and epitomised in his sojourn on earth.
The school also organised a party to celebrate the achievements of the students this year. It was also an opportunity for staff and students to have fun with parents, friends and others.
The Chairman, Pacesetters Group of Schools, Mr. Kenneth Imansuangbon, told THISDAY in an interview that the school intended to inculcate in its students the fact that they are first human beings, all created by God and that they are Nigerian citizens. He said the school achieved a strong bond of oneness, love and peace among the students through the teachings.
“We have hope for tomorrow if we can eschew what divides us as a people, our division is our strength if we can tap into the potentials it hold for us. Nigeria has the trappings of greatness and we can see this in the performances of our children. Those who divide us are not Nigerians, those who really love the country will work to unite all the people and not remind them of their differences.”
He said the school also teaches the students to give back to the society and the less privileged by urging them and their parents to donate food items, toys, groceries and other necessities to orphanages.
“This is part of efforts to teach the students how to give to the less privileged, to share whatever they have, which will make the world a better place. We are inculcating the values of love, neighbourliness into these young ones and they are catching it fast and strong”, the chairman said. Imansuangbon added that the management of the school leads by example with the provision of scholarship to some orphans, especially those whose parents lost their lives in the service of the nation.
He also thanked the parents for their commitment to the welfare of the school by being involved in its activities and meeting up with their financial and parental obligations.
He said the school takes the teaching of the French Language and the local languages serious, as part of efforts to ensure that the students are bilingual to enhance their cross-border opportunities and make them fluent in local languages.
The Chairman, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of Wuse School, Mallam Tukur Modibbo, expressed delight that the school was able to foster relationships among families from diverse backgrounds through daily interactions when parents bring their children to school.
“…Someone that you interact with daily is as good as your neighbour. If he does not see you for some time, he will ask after you. It is a good thing that has been cultivated and we thank Pacesetters for creating such forum.”
Modibbo called on government at all levels to provide adequate facilities in public schools to enable the students compete favourably with their counterparts in private school. He also urged the government to address the deficits in the public school system.
Highlights of the event were ballet dance, fashion parade, dance by parents. The students also performed a dance drama known as unity dance, which depicted the power struggle among the three major ethnic groups which threatened to break up the country. The drama advocated unity among the various ethnic groups to develop the country. The PTA of Gwarinpa and Wuse Schools were also inaugurated and presented to the audience.