The former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has counselled students of secondary and tertiary institutions to shun the craze for celebration of birthdays and similar social events now and concentrate on their studies.
Obi gave this advice during his interaction with the students of Holy Rosary College, Nsugbe, one of the schools slated to share from his 57th birthday gifts.
Obi had requested those who intended to give him birthday gifts to monetise such gifts, which he would donate to deserving schools and for other activities that would contribute positively to society.
The former governor, who presented a cheque of N1 million to the College for continued infrastructure support, said he was not against celebrations per se, but that at their current stage in life, what should be uppermost in their minds was how to succeed in the future and not how to celebrate birthdays and the like that would not add any value to their lives now.
Obi told the students: “I am here today to celebrate with you. I could have thrown a big party and call the whole world, but I said to myself: ‘What would such indulgence add to my life and those of the people around me?’ After self-questioning, I requested all those that planned a lavish celebration for me to rather give me the money so that I will donate it to schools. This way, I am happier, because I have used my birthday to enrich humanity rather than to drink and engage in other fleeting pleasures.”
Obi thanked the school authorities for their efforts towards wholesome development of the students and encouraged the students to remain focused and prepare their minds for future contributions to society.
He reminded them that people like Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Chimamanda Adichie started like them, but got to where they are today with the power of education.
He observed that politics would in future gravitate towards women, whom he described as better mangers of resources and less corrupt than the men.
Responding on behalf of the students, the Senior Prefect, Steph Ezeh, expressed gratitude to the former Governor for his visit and generosity and assured him that students of Anambra State would eternally remember him mostly for the return of schools to the original owners as well as the provision of buses, Internet connectivity, power generators, bore-holes, and other necessary facilities to the schools.