Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has urged students to maintain good character and not allow the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to lead them into antisocial activities.
Ewhrudjakpo gave the charge on Monday in Yenagoa. while granting audience separately to the National Union of Bayelsa State Students (NUBSS) and Sagbama Local Government students from the Federal University, Otuoke.
The deputy governor described studentship as a veritable foundation for the sustainable development of people and their society, adding that bad tendencies could destroy their bright destinies.
Ewhrudjakpo reminded the students that the greatest social assets of an individual are good character and integrity.
“A bad character is like a flat tyre which cannot take anyone far in life,” he said.
The deputy governor charged the students to take their academics seriously and strive to become better than their parents and guardians.
He said that students would be doing themselves and society a whole lot of good if they shun social vices, such as cultism, rape and drug abuse.
Ewhrudjakpo also urged the students to tackle the menace from its roots by preaching the message of repentance to their undergraduate colleagues who are into cult activities.
He said, “Your goal or proposal to go to secondary schools to campaign against cultism is quite laudable and noble. But I disagree with you on your target.
“You must first of all, remove the log in your eyes before you take away the spec in another person’s eye.
“Who are the people who go to initiate our children and your younger ones in secondary schools? Are they not from tertiary institutions?
“It is those of you who are cultists in the tertiary institutions that go about initiating the secondary school students into cultism.
“So, I want you to first of all talk to and convert the undergraduates before coming down to students at the lower levels.”
Ewhrudjakpo stressed that cultism never pays, and urged the students to see the governor and himself who are not cultists as people they should emulate.
He reminded the students that government wanted them to become better citizens, urging them to build themselves academically.
The deputy governor also charged the students to develop sound character, noting that the two main goals of a university education were to certify one worthy in learning and character.
“We are all affected by the ongoing ASUU strike. But don’t allow it to derail you into criminal or antisocial activities.
“Remain focused on the right things. Your hands must be on things that would add value to your lives,” he said.
In his remarks, NUBSS President, Comrade Yenne Ebobra-Dennis, said that their visit was to formally introduce their new executive members to the deputy governor.
He also solicited government’s support for their proposed behaviour change communication campaigns to primary and secondary schools across the eight local government areas of the state.
Also speaking, Comrade Sylvester Agbalaje, the President of Sagbama Local Government Students, Federal University, Otuoke, appealed to the State Government to support their Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills acquisition project.
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