Older persons not dead woods, says Eze Ajoku

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

Ajoku disclosed this in an interview with the 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 the 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 the abandonment of older persons, especially in rural areas commended President Muhammadu Buhari 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 the President. He has added teeth to the centre by releasing N2.5 billion for the takeoff fund, so we are really happy older persons are being remembered,” Ajoku said.

Pastor Victoria Onu, COSROPIN Secretary General, described the novelty match as a form of exercise to keep the 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 the coalition would continue to work toward the upliftment of the rights and privileges of older persons in Nigeria.

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

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

“We in Islam, we don’t do anything without 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)