Unity schools gradually losing purpose of establishment, says lawyer

An Enugu based lawyer, Mr Peter Nwabunike Eze has lamented that the purpose for which unity schools were established in Nigeria after the Civil War was being threatened and urged the Federal Government to wade into the system.

Eze, a former Associate Dean, Law Faculty, University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu Campus, at the 50th anniversary of the Federal Government College, (FGC), Enugu, said Federal Government Colleges were established to foster unity among Nigerians but regretted that insecurity, ethnicity and religious differences, among others, have eroded the purpose.

“One of the reasons for setting up unity schools, which is to foster unity and make for one Nigeria seems to have been defeated.  In 1973, three years after the end of the civil war, parents had to send their children and wards to other parts of Nigeria where these schools are located to study and foster unity among the various ethnic groups, but today, kidnapping, insecurity and bigotry of all kinds have not allowed the society reap the benefits. No parent from southeast for instance, would allow his child to go to other geo-political zones for the purpose of attending Federal Government College due to insecurity. If you go to such colleges at the moment, you will discover that those attending the schools are children from surrounding communities and states as well as workers at the place. Such was not the situation when we trained in those schools several years ago,”Eze stated.

Eze, an alumnus and chairman of the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the school, urged the Federal Government to restore the pride and credibility of unity schools by providing security and other needs of the schools.

He pointed out that in their days, students from various parts of the country were posted to other states and there was no fear of insecurity.  “We are losing quite a lot because we used to make friends from various parts of Nigeria.”

President of old students association of the school, Nnaedozie Eze, expressed joy that FGCE has come a long way.

The principal, Mrs Grace Terkehi and liaison officer, Lady Ngozi Ike, congratulated the old students for the interest shown in their alma mater by embarking on development projects such as building school blocks and renovation of structures in the school.

Highlights of the occasion were the unveiling of the anniversary logo and entertainment of guests with cultural tunes by the students.

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This article originally appeared in guardian.ng

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