US group institutes award, sponsors exam fees for IDPs to commemorate 1yr anniversary of Leah’s abandonment
By Steve Oko
A United States of America based Non Governmental Organisation known as US Nigeria Law Group, USLNG, has instituted a heroic award to recognise bravery in honour Leah Sharibu, the only victim among abducted Dapchi school girls still in Boko Haram captivity because of her refusal to convert to Islam.
According to the Managing Partner of the group, Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe, the award was in remembrance of one year anniversary of “the abandonment of Leah by the Nigerian state which paid ransom for the release of other abducted school girls but refused to do anything for Leah’s release”.
His words :One year ago today, the Government of Nigeria secured the release of over 100 Dapchi schoolgirls but failed to retrieve heroine Christian teenager Leah Sharibu held hostage for her refusal to convert to Islam. March 21 2019 marks a ‘Year of Abandonment of Leah’ by the Nigerian State.”
Continuing he said : “In commemoration of this and in concatenation with International Women’s Day 2019, US Nigeria Law Group is honoring several key women of courage and valor. The L.E.A.H. INDOMITABLE COURAGE award goes to individuals who have shown LEGENDARY & EXEMPLARY ACTS OF HEROISM at great personal risk or price against overwhelming odds.
“Simple acts of defiance, speaking truth to power, self-denial or going against popular opinion are amongst the kinds of acts recognized by this award. The 2019 LEAH awardees for women are:
“1. Girl Child of the Year: USNLG recognizes fearless and outspoken 9-year old Sapele Schoolgirl Success Adiegor. Armed only with her voice and gritty determination not to be denied education even if caned, her voice ignited a national movement that within days that not only earned her scholarships but transformed her school and inspired a national discussion on governance service delivery.
“2. Democratic Women of the Year: USNLG recognizes the valiant women in Rivers State who during an attempted military invasion of the election collation, barricaded the center with their bodies and defied the military to protect their votes.
“3. Anti-corruption Woman of the Year: USNLG recognizes the brave, intrepid journalist and child rights activist Betty Abah who has for several years consecutively exposed corruption in international donor groups including most recently in the United Nation’s system at great personal risk to herself, her NGO and the vulnerable children she advocates for.
“4. Lifetime achievement Female Professional of the Year: USNLG honors distinguished and accomplished professional Dr Mrs Maryam Dija Ogebe (nee Madaki) who defied cultural and religious prejudices and economic constraints to become the first female medical doctor from conservative northern Nigeria and recently clocked 75 years old.
“In this connection, USNLG has identified and paid for the exam fees of final year IDP students from the horrendous Barkin Ladi massacres of June 2018 as well as other IDPs and indigent students in Plateau. An orphan who lost 5 family members was also relocated to safety and her school fees paid.
“While about 50 students were recommended, verification and examinations were conducted by local volunteers to ensure that viable candidates were supported. One candidate was immediately disqualified for inability to write their name for example, another was exempted from writing on health grounds due to gunshots sustained on her arm from herdsmen attacks. In all, 40% of those evaluated were funded for the exams.
“In trying to pay the exam fees, we learnt Plateau State has imposed additional fees that are 150% more than the NECO fees. This is unfair not only on the people of Plateau but especially hard on the IDPs. Our investigation shows that it is cheaper to sit for NECO exam in Bauchi state than in Plateau. We urge Plateau State Ministry of Education to waive the additional fees to enable the poor IDPs write their exams. It doesn’t make sense for exam fees to be 25,000 naira when the minimum wage is 18,000.
“We are grateful to a Nigerian American pastor and Professor and Dr Mrs Ogebe herself for sponsoring these kids”.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.