The newly elected executives of the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) has pledged to partner the federal government to help restore the glory of unity schools.
Lawrence Wilbert, USOSA president general, made this pledge while addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the association’s Annual General Meeting and general elections in Abuja.
Mr Wilbert, an alumni of Federal Government College, Ugwolawo, was elected at the 34th AGM of the association on October 20.
He replaces Chidi Odinkalu, a professor of law and former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.
Mr Wilbert said there was a need for all stakeholders to do everything within their various capacities to ensure that the purpose of establishing unity schools was not defeated.
“By coming on board right now, my job really is to provide purposeful leadership to bring the coalition of unity schools alumni associations together to make sure we can engage properly the Federal Government, for an enhanced focus on public schools with emphasis on the 104 unity schools across the country,” said Mr Wilbert.
“I want to commit my coalition of alumni bodies to partner with the federal government to make sure we get the schools back to standard and to what they used to be, the pride of education in Nigeria.
“We will be looking to do as key stakeholders of these schools, to engage the owners of these schools, being the Federal Ministry of Education, and engage both national and state legislature on issues pertaining to education.”
Mr Wilbert noted that the association is currently contributing as much as the federal government towards the maintenance of the schools.
“It is no sentiment; we are actually giving back our resources and time to make sure the schools are maintained. It is a lot of work,” he said.
“We want to create that movement where we properly engage them, where we bring education to what it should be.’’
Mr Wilbert further said the association would engage the federal government to increase the allocation for education to 15 per cent minimum.
“He, however, applauded the National Executive Council for pushing the states to allocate 15 per cent of their budget to education.
Also speaking, the newly elected secretary general, Nasir Wasagu, said one of the key objectives of the association was to promote national unity and integration.
“Basically, USOSA as an association is interested in constructively engaging with the federal government of Nigeria as a major stakeholder in education, especially relating to government policies and legislations,” he said.
He further stated that the unity schools symbolise unity as children between the ages of 10 and 12 from diverse locations across Nigeria are assembled under one roof with the aim of educating them as well as harnessing their potentials.
“You will agree with me that that the essence of national unity and integration is needed in this country, now more than ever and there is nobody to help the federal government foster the unity needed in this country more than the products of unity schools.
“And that is going to be the primary objective of this executive, before we now go further to see how we can engage the federal government in advancing the course of education generally,’’ he said.
The Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) is arguably Africa’s largest coalition of alumni associations, made up of old students associations and old girls associations of 104 unity schools in Nigeria.
The complete list of the newly sworn-in USOSA EXCO.is shown below:
1. President General – Lawrence Wilbert (FGC Ugwolawo OSA)
2. Vice President Genera l- Michael Magaji (FGC Jos OSA)
3. Secretary General – Nasir Wasagu (FGC Kano OSA)
4. Treasurer – Osaigbovo Ezekiel (FGGC Benin OGA)
5. Publicity Secretary – Sotonye Edohore (FGGC Langtang OGA)
6. Welfare Secretary- Khadizat Bisallah (FGGC Bida OGA)
7. Financial Secretary- Kingsley Anene (FGC Warri OSA)
8. Legal Adviser – Amure Chinedu (FGGC Bakori OGA)
9. Auditor – Idike Odiri (FGC Lagos OSA)
10. Assistant Secretary-General – Chioma Aninwe (FGGC Abuloma OGA)
11. Assistant Publicity Secretary- Mohammed S. Keana (FGC Keffi OSA)
12. Assistant Financial Secretary- Adil Hamman (FGC Maiduguri OSA)