From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Thirty Nigerian tertiary institutions are expected to take part in this year’s Commonwealth scholarship award debate scheme.
The Commonwealth Society Ambassador for Nigeria, Patricia Yakubu, explained that after the exercise, the best 6 schools would be chosen to take part at the African level where the winners would proceed to the global final stage.
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The theme for this year’s event is entitled, ‘Delivering a Common Future.’
Yakubu, addressing newsmen in Abuja, said: ‘The significance of this celebration today is a celebration that is done all over the 54 Commonwealth Countries. So in every year celebration, we bring up a program that binds us together as Commonwealth countries.
‘This year’s event is focusing on tertiary institutions, it brings young ones together from tertiary institutions, they conduct debates amongst them to bring out their talents. Most of these young ones end up getting the Commonwealth scholarship to study abroad.’
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II of England implored all Commonwealth Nations to be united in pursuing the common goal of peace unity and peace.
‘It is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time.
‘That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all those who have been involved.
‘We are nourished and sustained by our relationships and, throughout my life, I have enjoyed the privilege of hearing what the relationships built across the great reach and diversity of the Commonwealth have meant to people and communities.
‘Our family of nations continues to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship.
‘It is a place to come together to pursue common goals and the common good, providing everyone with the opportunity to serve and benefit.
‘In these testing times, it is my hope that you can draw strength and inspiration from what we share, as we work together towards a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all.
‘And on this special day for our family – in a year that will include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth.’
Secretary-General, Commonwealth Society of Nigeria, Musa Abutu, said that last year’s edition of the scholarship award exercise had 5 Nigerian students who distinguished them and were awarded scholarships.
According to Abutu, ‘the first edition of this scholarship award was held last year in Abuja, and 5 schools emerged winners where they presented 3 students each for the scholarship which qualified them to the African level competition.
‘At the final level, which is global, we had 5 students from Nigeria who were given scholarships.
‘This year, 30 schools will participate in the scholarship competition, 5 institutions will be picked to participate in the competition at the African level.’