Former governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu has advised students to put more time and energy at their study but ensure that they do not allow rats to eat up their certificates.
Aliyu called for more support aimed at improving quality of education, especially of the youth, to promote the desired national development.
The ex-governor gave the advice, Friday in Abuja, at the spelling competition organised by an Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Shamudo Spelling Bee.
Aliyu urged the organisers, students, parents, civil society organisations and the private sectors to support the Shamudo Spelling Bee, in order to uplift educational standard in the country.
His words; “You need to strategise the words so you do not have primary and secondary schools spelling same words.
“Our pupils and students; you have sacrificed your time to be here and let us know what you have been studying.
“My advice to you is that you must engage in extra-curriculum activities.
“Please read and read and read; ensure you keep your certificates, do not allow rats to eat your certificates”.
The former governor also spoke on the 2019 general election, urging the electorate to vote wisely and ensure that the right persons are voted into power.
“When you vote, do not vote based on emotions or on the fact that the person is from your place, but vote for competence, experience, development and welfare.
“Whether the cat is white or black does not matter, as long as it catches the rat.
“It does not matter where our President is from, so long as he is competent.
“Always bear in mind the sacrifices your parents are making to get your uniform and school fees. Remember that sometimes when they give you rice, they eat Eba,” he said.
Aliyu urged the participants not to play with the opportunity because it is a golden opportunity for their future.
“Parents, pay attention to the education of your children, pay attention to the kinds of friends they keep, but don’t go attacking their teachers when they err.
“Report them to appropriate authorities, so they do not copy such habit from you,’’ he added.
The ex-governor presented awards to teachers, police officers, and others who were selected based on nomination.
The Coordinator of Shamudo Spelling Bee, Mr John Anyebe who also spoke, appealed for greater attention to educational programmes.
Anyebe expressed gratitude to the grand patron, Dr Jumai Ahmadu and other supporters of the group.
He harped on the importance of giving children qualitative education and urged parents and teachers to make it a reality so that the future of the children would be brighter.
Some of the prizes given out to winners included a bicycle, galaxy tab, text books, medals, among others items.
The featured about 22 primary and secondary schools participating, while attracting prominent members of the society, including those in the entertainment industry like Charles Awurum and Emmanuel Fred.
The objectives of the spelling competition was to promote excellence in youth education in the country.