Chief of Defence Staff Lauds USOSA Sports Carnival for Promoting Social Cohesion 

Olawale Ajimotokan  in Abuja 

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, has applauded the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) Sports Carnival for promoting nationhood and social cohesion in the country.

He affirmed this at the weekend during the tee-off of the golf tournament at the IBB International Golf and Country Club.

No fewer than 42 Unity Colleges from across the country vied for honours in 14 sports at this year’s carnival.

Musa expressed delight to be a product of the Unity Schools, adding that it shaped him into the man he is today.

He said the calibre of people at the sports carnival indicated that every local government, tribe and religion from across the country was represented which reflected unity in diversity and promotion of social cohesion.

“It is a pleasure and a great privilege to be here. Federal Government College, Sokoto gave us platform and the foundation that we are standing on and together I can see the difference we are making all over the country and the world.

“I remain forever grateful for attending a federal government college. The schools are the pride of the nation, although we need to ask if the standards are still being maintained these days.

“If not, what are we doing about it because we benefitted from the system and it will sad for us not to do anything when we are in the position to make a change.

“So, I think it’s good that we do something for the unity schools so that we can bring them back to standard in sports, education and everything the institution represents,” Musa said.

The President General of USOSA, Michael Magaji, said the golf tournament was integrated into the competition to help strengthen the aging participants.

He noted that the theme for this year’s carnival was “Reigniting Unity in Diversity”, adding that the carnival brought together no fewer than 3,000 USOSANS and 2,000 non-USOSANS.

“We are using sports as a tool to showcase unity, nationhood and social cohesion amongst USOSANS and non-USOSANS alike.

“The carnival is part of our “project unite” which covers the health, wellness, careers and different components of living,” he said.

The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Ahmad Hussaini, said the concept of USOSA was borne out of the necessity to save the unity schools from being sold by the federal government.

He recalled the during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government there was plan by the then Minister for Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili to sell the unity schools under the government’s privatisation drive at the time.

“So, some of us formed a pressure group and resisted the attempt by the government to sell our unity schools; we were able to buy 95 out of the 110 schools and the pressure group was what metamorphosed into USOSA,” he said.

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