Updated: March 7, 2021
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila on Sunday in Lagos warned students to avoid regrets in the future by staying away from hard drugs and truancy in school.
According to Gbajabiamila, who spoke during a Health and Education initiative for students in Surulere 1 Federal Constituency, organized by some of his Aides and other professionals under the aegis of the Gbaja Professional Volunteer Network (GPVN), the need to take education seriously cannot be overemphasized.
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The initiative, which is a continuous exercise designed to go round the country was funded with support from private commercial organizations.
Gbajabiamila, who promised to continue to give back to society said it is only a healthy and educated society that can make a country great.
He said: “Now, when I go round to teach children, I always make sure I address certain things, away from academics.
“There are certain things that are important in education beyond classroom education.
“The issue of drugs, that has permeated our society today is something I never hesitate to talk to the children about.
“Drugs, being out of school, cultism and so on, those things take you nowhere and they take you nowhere fast.
“So it is important that we continue to imbibe this culture of going to school regularly, staying away from drugs, beware of teenage pregnancy, beware of cultism.
“And I tell my students when I go to teach them, that my being with them alone, I want to be fulfilled that If only I can change the life of just one student, I will be fulfilled.
“And I am glad to say that many times, when I get feedback from parents, those students who ordinarily try to stay away from school from the time I talk to them, motivate them in the class, they are the ones that wake up early before their parents to tell them, it is time to go to school. I feel fulfilled, I feel accomplished with that mission.
“Dear students, your parents work hard to earn a living, to send you to school, it is important that you take your studies seriously.
“I am here today, yes because of God’s favour, but because I went to school. If I didn’t go to school, I would not be here. So, that’s the importance of education.
“So I want you to take it seriously that education is not for the sake of education. It is for the sake of progressive life and I want to advise we take it seriously”.
The Speaker further impressed on the children the essence of being self-motivated even as they look up to worthy role models in the society, saying, “I want to come back 20 years from now, I want to see those students that I taught are now doctors, lawyers, House of Representatives member and even governors in their various States and it is not a pipe dream.
“And if you conceive it, you can achieve it, that’s my belief and I am sure that is your belief too.
“On the other hand, for those who fail to listen to their parents and people like us who try to motivate them, I do not want to come around in 20 years and you tell me I wish I listened to you 20 years ago when you taught me and you tried to motivate me, but today I am begging for alms. That will never be your portion.
“But it is not enough to say a quick Amen. It is more important to take that piece of advice, imbibe it, activate whatever is inside of you to be activated, mine is just to push, yours is to have inner motivation based on the push”.
While appreciating the Gbaja Professional Volunteer Network for the initiative, Gbajabiamila commended the health and educational organizations that contributed their resources to make the programme a success.
He also assured that the programme would not be a one-off event.
“I want to acknowledge the Directors of the various companies that supported this project.
“For me, charity begins at home, this is my constituency, and I will continue to pay back to this society, to this community, as I reach out to others.
“They say health is wealth, it is only a healthy nation that can make progress and that’s why what you are doing today and in the last two days is commendable.
“From my understanding, under this project, we have health initiative: health screening, dental care, and so many other things.
“Now, apart from being healthy, a lot of people don’t realise the importance of the things that we ignore, I have heard of people who had a simple toothache that has led to paralysis and even death.
“So I want to congratulate the Gbaja Professional Volunteer Network for doing an incredible job, for bringing health to the children. It is only healthy children that can be educated.
“We will continue to do this, it is a continuous project, we will continue to engage our children to secure their future and the future of Nigeria.
“Once again, I thank the organisers of this initiative, you have done a good job,” he added.
Over 10,000 students benefited from medical checks and educational materials at the well-attended programme.