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President Clinton,
Former US President, Bill Clinton, with Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, at the event, yesterday. Photo Credit: Sunday Alamba
THISDAY group, owners of THISDAY Newspaper and organizers of the annual Thisday awards, yesterday honoured outstanding retired teachers in Nigeria. The organization gave awards, cash prizes and something of lifetime value; a handshake from a former US President, and one of the world’s most famous politicians, Bill Clinton. The event, held with the 18th Thisday Awards, was themed, ‘Celebrating Nigeria’s Best Teachers’ and was hosted by the Ogun State Government. The event was attended by Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Uduaghan of Ogun and Delta States, with several other high profile people, from Nigeria and abroad. President Bill Clinton spoke about the awards and the importance of education, stating, “It is an age where if we are sufficiently educated, we can be empowered, but with enormous challenges.  First of all, all of these new opportunities technology had given us have not yet succeeded in automatically reducing poverty and inequality of opportunities in accessing education, health care. It is a global phenomenon.” “If we really want to take advantage of education, empowerment and information technology, we have to solve this problem.  The second problem we have in the world is quite unstable as we all know. We have to stop this problem. One major problem of unemployment is this instability all over the world.” “We have to find a way through education, through the information technology revolution to change the way we produce and consume energy and to change the way we use local resources in a way that sustains them. We have to know how to do this and do it right. And in every case, education will play a major role whether in developed or developing countries. “We need intelligent people to take a new way to challenge themselves. There is a lot of work to be done but we cannot ever neglect the role of education.” “I am convinced that if we can make universal education, including education in the heart, available to all the young people of the world and give them a chance without their angers, without the kind of divisive feelings that we have built up over our lifetimes, to seize the empowerment of the information technology revolution, then humanity’s brightest days lie ahead. And that is why it is important today to honour these educators.” The 15 teachers — primary, secondary and tertiary — who were honoured, are: Mrs. Victoria Jolayemi, Mrs. Dorothy Ugwu, and Mrs. Christie Ade-Ajayi for Primary schools; Rev. Father Angus Fraser, Chief D.B.E. Ossai, Mr. Yakubu S. Dimka, Chief Reuben Majekodunmi, Chief Dotun Oyewole, Mr. John O.B. Adeaga, Bawa Mohammed Faskari, and Hadiza Thani Mohammed, for secondary schools; Prof. Iya Abubakar, Prof. Frank Ugiomoh, Prof. Michael Obadan, and Prof. Eunice Nkiruka Uzodike, for Universities. They got N2 million each and trophies.

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This article was first published on 27th February 2013 and updated on April 10th, 2013 at 11:19 am

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