I have never tasted alcohol, cigarettes, says Akpabio



Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has said he had never taken alcohol or smoked cigarettes in his life because of their side effects on the human system.


Akpabio declared this while admonishing children of various secondary schools across the country who participated in the grand finale of the National Quiz Competition organised by the National Institute For Legislative And Democratic Studies.


The theme of the competition was “The Legislature And Democracy”.


Akpabio who commended the participating schools for getting to the finals of the exercise, urged the youths to steer off vices that could affect their dreams and aspirations in life.


He specifically urged them to refrain from taking alcohol or engaging in smoking any form of substance that could be injurious to their health.


He said, “You should strive to become visionary leaders in the future by abstaining from things that would truncate your dreams and goals.


“In my case, I have never smoked cigarettes or taken alcohol before. This is because, growing up, I listened to parental guidance.


“As a kid, I usually see a man who would stagger on the road and fall into the gutters. I asked my mum who told me it was because he was drunk.”


The Senate President added, “Some people would drink alcohol and drive home while others would drink and drive to paradise”


Akpabio said Nigeria deserves honest youths who are God-fearing.


The Director General of NILDS,  Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, similar competitions were held at the state level, involving secondary schools drawn from the three senatorial zones in the 36 states.


He said the participating schools emerged from a competitive process with the School for the Gifted in Gwagwalada, representing the North Central and the FCT Zone.


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He said the ‘Pen Resource Academy represents the North East, while ‘Government Pilot Secondary School, Daura’, represents the North West.


Sulaiman said, “Representing the South-South and the South-East are ‘Community Secondary Uyo, Akwa Ibom State’, and ‘Saint Theresa’s College Nsukka, Enugu State’, respectively.


“Lastly, ‘the Greater Tomorrow International School, Arigidi-Ikare Akoko, Ondo State’, represents the South West.”


He said this year’s quiz is also the first since the 10th National Assembly was inaugurated and the first since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.


He said, “As you may have observed, both private and government schools are represented in this quiz competition.


“This is a reflection of the commitment of the 10th National Assembly to prioritise education for all in line with the 8-Point Agenda of the President, the Legislative Agenda of both Houses of the National Assembly, as well as Sustainable Development Goals 4


“In a time where youth participation in civic, political, and governance spaces is either low or challenged by a lack of access to opportunities, the NILDS Quiz competition serves as a vehicle for engagement and advocacy to close the youth exclusion gap and raise leaders that would champion democratic processes and serve as change agents.”


Suleiman added, “Over the last seven editions of this competition, we have observed that schools that participate in the quiz at the state level and at the final stage are amply represented by girls and boys.


“This is a further attestation to the fact that if the constraints on access to education at all levels are addressed, education for boys and girls would drive our national development.”


At the end of the keenly contested event, Saint Theresa’s College Nsukka, Enugu State won the competition.


Greater Tomorrow International School, Arigidi-Ikare Akoko, Ondo State came second while the School for the Gifted in Gwagwalada came third

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