NGO organises quiz competition, promotes civic education

Connected Development (CODE), a non-profit organization, says it is poised to promote civic rights and education among secondary school students in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of the group, Mr. Hamzat Lawal, stated this on Thursday during a quiz competition organised for three selected secondary schools in Owerri, Imo.

Lawal, represented by the Communications Officer of CODE, Mr. Odinaka Onuigbo, said the group’s desire was to empower students with knowledge on how to demand accountability and due process from governments and organizations.

“To do that, we set up civic clubs in some secondary schools and came up with a manual to teach them basic civic education so that as they grow, they will be able to engage and hold governments and organisations in the extractive industries accountable.

“Our main mandate is to empower marginalized communities through various projects like the Power of Voices Partnership—Fair for All Projects (PVP), which focuses on capacity building and the creation of awareness in the extractive sector,” he noted.

He said that the extractive sectors are organisations engaged in mining mineral resources in various communities in the country.

According to Lawal, “my organisation aims to help the students understand that people who are mining mineral resources in communities are either employing people from the area or giving back to the communities.

He said, “We hope that students will be able to learn more about their rights and responsibilities and help raise awareness in communities about mining and the extraction of mineral resources.

“The project is aimed at empowering marginalised communities by improving transparency, accountability, and helping citizens understand their civic rights.”

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Earlier, the Imo Support Officer for the group, Dr. Chigoziri Osuji, explained that the programme, sponsored by Oxfam, began operations in 2021.

“Since we established the integrity clubs, this is the first time we are having inter-school competition in the five states involved in the project, namely: Cross River, Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Imo, Rivers, and the Federal Capital Territory,” she said.

The National Chairman of Catholic Directors of Education, Rev. Fr. Wilfred Nwachukwu, commended the organisers for nurturing students while maintaining integrity and civility.

According to Nwachukwu, civic education, being a core subject in secondary schools, helps to build society and the country.

He advised Nigerians to maintain good culture and civility even amid hardship.

In an interview, a representative of Imo Government Girls Secondary School, Owerri, and the winner of the quiz competition, Miss Jessica Peters, commended the organisers for educating students on their civic rights.

“Civic teaches us as citizens our rights, duties, and what the government is expected to do for us as citizens.

“It teaches us how to participate in the politics of our economy and enlightens us on the politics of our country and the countries around us,” Peters stated.

NAN reports that Owerri Girls Secondary School, Owerri, came in second, while Christian Child’s Care Secondary School, Owerri, came in third in the quiz competition.

The event also witnessed a debate between two of the schools on the topic “Integrity can end corruption in Nigeria,”  as well as drama presentations and spoken words that highlighted civic engagement and accountability. (NAN)

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