Older persons not dead woods, says Eze Ajoku

Sen. Eze Ajoku, President, Coalition of Societies for Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), says that older persons are not dead woods.

Ajoku disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

He said older persons had a lot to contribute to nation building because they were still young at heart and physically strong.

Ajoku spoke at occasion of a novelty match between Older Persons and Coaches’ Association in Abuja in commemoration of Older Persons week.

“We are celebrating our youths because we are still young at heart and physically strong.

“We want to use this opportunity to ask Nigerian government to remember us because we are not dead woods.

“We have a lot to contribute to society, we have a lot to give to nation building,” he said.

Ajoku, who regretted abandonment of older persons, especially in rural areas commended President Muhammadu for responding to some of their demands.

“We are grateful to God that government has heard us, we advocated a senior citizens’ centre and good enough, government has responded in that regard by giving us a senior citizens centre.

“We want to also thank President. He has added teeth to centre by releasing N2.5 billion for takeoff fund, so we are really older persons are being remembered,” Ajoku said.

Pastor Victoria Onu, COSROPIN Secretary General, described novelty match as a form of exercise to keep body and soul fit.

“For most heart diseases, it boils down to exercises. We are here to be fit,” she said.

Col. Paul Omeruo (rtd), one-time Military Administrator of Kogi state, said that coalition would continue to work toward upliftment of rights and privileges of older persons in Nigeria.

“We have been working toward upliftment of rights and privileges of older persons in Nigeria,” Omeruo said.

Imam Hadiyatullahi Ganiyi, of FOMWAN mosque, Utako, emphasised imperatives in honouring older persons in accordance with teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

“We in Islam, we don’t do anything following the instruction given to us by our beloved Prophet and he took it from Allah Almighty.

“That is, old people, we need to honour them, and we need to respect them, to be prayerful for them because that age is critical,” Ganiyi said.

Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi, Vice President of the Coalition, commended government for their support but appealed for more.

“We needed government support and it has been made, because of advocacy, government embraced it and set up the National Senior Citizens Centre,” Abdullahi said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the novelty match ended 6-4 in favour of the Coaches association. (NAN)