By Mike Ubani
The popular mantra that says “show me your friend, and I’ll tell you who you are,” has compelled a lot of people to be circumspect when choosing their friends. This is because a bad friend will naturally influence one negatively, whereas a good friend has the potential of positively impacting on one’s life.
It was perhaps against this backdrop that the International President of Pleasant Gathering Club of Nigeria (PGCN), Barr (Mrs.) Joy Ogbonnaya, recently advised secondary school students in Enugu state, to be mindful of the type of friends they keep, if they hope to make good progress in their studies.
Barr Ogbonnaya who gave this advice during the 2018 Mega Secondary School Convention held at the Gymnasium Hall, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu, stressed on the need for students not to get involved in negative tendencies that could mar their studies.
Speaking on the theme “Towards a Positive change for the Nigerian Student,” she said that to achieve success could depend on the kind of friends the youths keep, explaining that those friends could make or mar their lives and career.
She said: “You have the privilege of choosing friends, but try to choose those who could influence or impact positively on your lives. Our students should make positive decisions that could make them better citizens of the country, as well as have a better future.”
She argued that bad friends could lead to mediocrity, discouragement, and total failure on the part of the students.
She warned: “There are things you should not do to realise your potential. No matter your age, you should not indulge in sexual immorality, lesbianism, homosexuality or any form of pornography.
“Some are suffering from parental disobedience, others insult their teachers. All these will decimate your brain, diminish your intelligence quotient and endanger your future. But you are going back to your parents and teachers as changed persons.”
She asked those who had already engaged themselves in those vices to adjust their lives, to enable them harness their budding talents.
Pleasant Gathering Club of Nigeria – Organisers’s of the convention, is a faith-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), working to equip and empower young people; raise a generation of youths after God’s heart, as well as provide a moral reorientation of values amongst the youths in the society.
“In the past three years, we have been holding this convention to give the students all over the country a sense of belonging. We hope that there will be tremendous improvement in the next year’s edition,” she said.
Chigozie Ichu, a guest lecturer at the occasion, argued that as the world moves from industrial economy to knowledge-based economy, the students should also acquire learning skills for excellence in their career.
He enumerated some factors that would guarantee students sure way to success in their chosen career. They include imbibing study habit; commitment and motivation; organisational skills, concentration and having a set target or goal amongst others.
“The future belongs to those who have the knowledge, and key into it”, he said.
Some of the students interviewed expressed delight on the conduct of the organisers of the event. Deborah Chisom Nwachukwu, a student of Springfield College Emene, near Enugu, said she was impressed by the lectures delivered at the convention.
“I will put the lessons into use for a better performance in my school and educational endeavour,’ she promised.
Relating her experience, Akunna Adakibeya Ugborgu, a student of Solid Foundation International schools, Enugu South Local Government Area, said the convention was worth attending because of the inspirational teachings
that come with it.
“Though it was my first time of attending the convention, it was a wonderful event that has touched my life. I have learnt a lot today, which will shape my understanding of how to make right decisions and choices. I will continue to attend the
event to learn more,” she said.
Onyedika Okoye, of Union Boys secondary school, Awkunanaw, Enugu, said he was challenged to read more and improve on his skills to make a better student and citizen in the future.
No fewer than 5,000 students drawn from about 70 secondary schools attended the convention. The PGCN also used the occasion to celebrate the sixth anniversary of its Secondary School Project – The Pleasant Gathering Reading Club.
There were quiz competitions among some selected schools, singing and dancing. The maiden edition of The Pleasant gathering Digest (magazine) was also launched at the event.
According to Ogbonnaya, Pleasant Gathering Reading club was established six years ago as an Education Project that aims to enhance the reading culture and restore moral habits of Secondary School Students in Enugu state and the entire country.