By Paul Efiong
The founders of the ‘I AM THE FUTURE OF NIGERIA YOUTH INITIATIVE’, a non-profit organization, 20-year-old Renee and15-year-old Zara Okocha, also known as the Okocha Sisters, have pledged to kick out bulling out of Nigerian schools.
The duo spoke at the training of over 100 young boys and girls on anti-bullying organised by ‘I AM THE FUTURE OF NIGERIA YOUTH INITIATIVE’, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Federal Capital Territory Authority, Nigeria Police Force and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in Abuja.
They said the training was necessitated by their drive to kick illiteracy and bullying out of the nation by creating safe learning environments for students.
According to them, the ‘Kick Out Bullying in our Schools’ program was a great example of young people’s voices and how they can initiate anti bullying programs to make a huge difference on individuals, schools and communities in the country.
They disclosed that the anti-bullying programme was developed to teach Nigerian children to respect others as well as ensure that kindness and quality education continue to grow and develop in all schools in the country.
The Renee and Zara are also using football shoot out as a tool to curb out bullying. There was football shoot out moment where adults and children all kicked a ball through a hole to kick out bullying. The Okocha sisters are from the football family meaning that their dad, Emma Okocha was an ex-super eagle’s player, their uncle is Jay Jay Okocha and their cousin is Alex Iwobi who plays for Everton football club in Uk. The likes of ex super eagles players, Daniel Amokachi, Samson Siasia, ImamaAmapakbo, Kennedy Bobboye and NasiruJubril (NFF representative) all took turns, shooting to kick out bullying in all schools
The Okocha Sisters, who stated that they are young authors of over 20 school children books for first readers, said they aim to be as good in academics as their uncle (JayJayOkocha) was in football.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said that the Federal Government will no longer tolerate bullying in the nation’s schools, maintaining that the damage the act does to the mental, social and psychological wellbeing of victims calls for concern.
Hon. Nwajiuba said that bullying was capable of stopping children from being productive and responsible members of the society, hence, the need to urgently address the ugly phenomenon in the nation’s secondary schools.
According to the Minister of State, it is the responsibility of the entire society to ensure that ‘we bring up children who know that every other child is very important.
‘The wellbeing of every child is our concern.’ the Minister reiterated. Speaking further, the Minister of State said that it is his collective responsibility with Education Minister, AdamuAdamu to ensure that Nigerian children find their school environments conducive for learning and other beneficial activities.