By Virginia Agada
HRH. Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu Egbere Emere Okori and Oneh Eh Nchia X, Eleme, Rivers State has said that parents have a key role to play in enhancing good leadership in Nigeria.
The Royal father pointed out that the failure of our leaders is to a large extent attributed to wrong parenting.
HRH. Amb. Dr. Appolus made the statement at the StandTall Africa Initiative-Stai Hall of Fame Leadership Award 2020, at the A-Class Park & Event, Kashim Way, Maitama, Abuja held on Saturday.
Appolus who gave a keynote address passionately stressed that the only way Nigerians can have a new breed of leaders is to retire parents into moral up bringing of their children, pointing that introducing children at their early age into leadership positions could be disastrous as he suggested that parents should allow their children to take up their desired carers first for at least 20years in their line of profession before dragging them into public/political positions.
While speaking with a cluster of journalists, just after the event, he advised parents to adequately train children in a Godly way, shouldn’t expose them into luxury as it would make them lazy.
He further explained that leadership is influence, and influence is earned through self coordination, sacrifice and diligence.
“If parents do their best, I tell you all, we would have a better society”, he added.
The convener, Dr.Ogah Emmanuel in his welcome address gave a concised background of what the NGO is all about. He stated that Standtall Africa Initiative is a non-profit and non-partisan organization operating on the continent of Africa in Nigeria, Senegal and Ethiopia. The international organization is an initiative that supports Africans to take their place of pride among global communities. The organization stands solidly on three legs; Quality Education, Service driven Leadership and Entrepreneurship (Value addition) respectively.
Ogah, speaking on current programs disclosed that the organisation is running a ten year nationwide effective reading campaign which is aimed at reviving the comatose reading culture of Africans and Nigerians in particular.
According to him, the nationwide effective reading campaign which has Prof Zaynab Alkali, a seasoned professor of English and a prolific writer of note, as the matron has not just succeeded excellently in the past two years but has also transformed the reading habits of many students and stakeholders for better. “As we all know, reading could be very exhausting but in the case of Nigeria, it is a herculean task and very boring which is why we have specially designed about 12 different projects to drive the reading campaign. These projects range from offering students at all levels study scholarships, providing research grants for lecturers of tertiary institutions, upgrading school libraries by providing schools with modern textbooks, e-libraries and other relevant reading materials, etc.
As at today, our research teams are on ground in three states of the federation (Benue, Adamawa, and Kogi) where we have signed a memorandum of understanding with the states government through their ministries of education to ascertain the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the quality education in these states. We have further set aside through our donors a sum of One Hundred and Fifty Two Million Naira (N152, 000,000.00) only for each of the states to procure educational palliatives such as textbooks, uniforms, writing materials, etc for each of the local government areas of these states at the end of the research exercise.
Standtall Africa Initiative in a bid to improve on the quality of educational research across Africa and also encourage avid reading has equally established four different research centres in early February 2020. These centres shall be officially unveiled today and also named after some prominent Nigerians who will also serve as the pioneer patrons of the Centres.
I would have loved to take you through each of these laudable projects by the organization over the last two years but for want of time. Below is a summary of what we have achieved in our educational, leadership and entrepreneurship programmes in the last two years and we hope to expand these projects come 2021 to benefit more Africans and Nigerians in particular”.
Talking on achievements, he said, distribution of over 8 million textbooks and other relevant reading materials distributed to schools and institutions in Nigeria, Chad, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso and through our ongoing 10years effective reading campaign, over 6,000 Lecturers across African Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges have been empowered and positively affected via different educational projects, research grants, etc, over 4,000 students and undergraduates on study scholarships at different levels of study through our various scholarship projects under the nationwide effective reading campaign, over 15,000 teachers of primary and secondary schools equipped and empowered nationwide, over 10,000 young entrepreneurs trained and financially empowered through our entrepreneurship development and empowerment projects, over 12,000 top management leaders, managers, CEOs, directors, supervisors, etc trained and well equipped through the STAi leadership institute for better delivery and performance have all been achieved.
Dignitaries who attended the event amidst which are, Sen. Maj. General Mohammed Magoro (Rtd), Galadiman Zuru, Kano state governor, His Excellency Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Sheik Muhammad Kabiru Gombe, and several Nationals.