The 1973 class of School of Basic Studies (SBS ‘73), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU), says it will organise a public lecture on fostering effective national unity.
The chairman, Abuja branch, Mr Sam Bandi, made the declaration on Saturday at a school reunion and dinner.
He said members of the class who were drawn from every part of the country, will go all-out to promote national unity with a view to ensuring peaceful coexistence and increasing economic growth.
He said: “Though we are not the first set, but we were the largest and were admitted from every part of the country after the civil war. We formed alliances and friendships and we are still maintaining those friendships.
“This is the kind of idea those who set up the school at that time, specifically, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, had, which was one of the ways he wanted to use to foster unity in the country after the civil war.
“None of us is less than 60 years old. The vision we had of Nigeria is not what we are seeing today. We had a vision that we can go anywhere without religious, tribal or political sentiments; today, things have turned upside down.
“We want to plan a public lecture on national unity, using one of us as speaker because we have all excelled in many fields of human endeavor. We hope that General Gowon will be there to chair the lecture.”
A member of the class, Hannatu Akilu, said social stratification where people are grouped based upon their religion, tribe, political affiliations and income is high-flying at the present time and that effort must be made to bridge the gap of difference to avoid ‘social problems’.
Another member and a former newspaper editor, Malam Abba Dabo, said Nigerians must foster unity based on the understanding that difference deepens interactions.
He said, “We need to strive to be united; there must be a plan for unity, it doesn’t happen like that.”
He said the group would possibly consider offering scholarships to students and building structures at ABU.