Learning one indigenous national language will build unity, says Asiodu

Chief Philip Asiodu, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Major (Mrs) Janet Osamgbi, Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi, Ogbueshi Alban-Ofili-Okonkwo and Past District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110, Dr Omotosho Kamoru at the investiture of Osamgbi as the 33rd President of Rotary Club of Ikoyi in Lagos at the weekend.

Former Petroleum Secretary, Chief Philip Asiodu, has advocated the teaching of what he termed a national language, which aside from English language, will be spoken by children in schools across the country.

The elder statesman added that each child learning at least one national language would promote unity, oneness and cohesion in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria, as soon everyone will be able to speak a language that another would understand aside English.

Asiodu, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos as a Special Guest of Honour at the investiture of Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi, as the 33rdPresident of the Rotary Club Ikoyi, argued that with the abundance of human and natural resources, most of which are yet untapped, Nigeria should have done better than it is doing currently.

He said Nigeria will overcome most of its socio-economic challenges if public servants adhere to 50 per cent of the Four Way Test of the Rotary Club.

While noting that they deal with issues of principle and dedication to work, said the ‘Test’ would be of great advantage in a developing nation, if applied in the delivery of service.

“Nigeria has a unique geographical location, scores of untapped natural resources and 3, 000 miles away from the Europe market compared to its Asian counterparts, who are 11, 000 miles from the European market and yet it has not been able to utilise the advantage of this geographical location to the advantage of her citizens,” he said regrettably.

Asiodu also urged qualitative education, which would improve on the present poor quality in the nation’s educational system.

Corrborating Asiodu, Chairman of the occasion, Ogbueshi Alban Ofili-Okonkwo, Chairman of Autobahn Technique Ltd, noted that applying them in picking leaders the way Rotary does, will go a long in helping to build a healthy nation of quality leaders.

Speaking in the same light, Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri, who was the Guest Lecturer, decried the high level of the vulnerability of the girl child in Nigeria, saying that proper education and training will go a long way in addressing this national problem.

Onwuliri, who spoke on her paper entitled, Empowering the Girl-Child for Sustainable Development, called for collective collaboration of relevant bodies to give the child her rightful place in society, adding that providing quality education for girl-child is a gateway towards ensuring a more prosperous and sustainable future for Nigeria.

She lamented the situation in the country, where the girl child was seen as mere cannon fodder whose role in society was to produce babies and be used and abused at will.

She further added that no nation made any meaningful progress when it relegates it female folk to the background. She, therefore, called for immediate action to arrest the sad trend of out of schoolgirl child, which she disclosed the number was staggering.

On his part, Professor Chris Ogbogbo, President Historical Society of Nigeria and Head of Department of History at the University of Ibadan noted that justice and fairness will help address several issues of inequality and agitations in the country, whether it is the girl child education or other social economic matters.

Meanwhile, the newly inaugurated President, who took over from Rotarian Oladele Ojogbede had in his acceptance speech, said that the Rotary Club Ikoyi has been in the business of doing good in the last three decades, which he said has been necessitated by the fact that people need care and love.

He pledged that in the current Rotary year under his watch, such acts of doing good would be taken even to higher standards, insisting that the government cannot do everything.

He said: “Our focus is to impact on more lives. Someone near you needs cataract surgery; we will undertake at least 100 of such surgeries in this Rotary year. We will build a blood bank and are partnering with the Police Hospital in Falomo, Lagos. where we carried out some renovations recently, among several other projects the Club plan to undertake in this Rotary year.”

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