In line with the Presidential declaration of October 5th to mark the International Day Of Older Persons in Nigeria, the National Senior Citizens Centre, recently organised a slow Walk/carnival for the older people. The walk according to the Director General of the agency, Dr Emem Omokaro, is a pointer to the theme of this year’s celebration, ’from resilience to empowerment’.
The walk had in attendance members of NSCC Governing Board, Prof. Mohammed Namadi; members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners; the NSCC National Stakeholders Consultative Forum; National Emergency Management Agency; Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, staff of the NSCC, older persons, youth corpers and journalists.
The take-off point of the carnival was the old parade ground in Abuja, through Radio house to NTA headquarters in Area 11 and back to the Old parade ground.
Earlier, the DG of NSCC, Dr Omokaro, told journalists that the walk was to let people know that older persons have rights, and can still contribute meaningfully to society and nation-building, irrespective of their age.
According to her; “today, we are celebrating the first edition of Nigeria dedicating October 5th as National Day of Older Persons, so that we can have this day as it should be—really spotlighting older persons—their contributions, the challenges they face, the growing demographics, any gaps that we need to fill and then also to tune in to the UN thematic subject matter, and today, we are celebrating the resilience of older women and men.
“Our hashtag for this celebration in Nigeria is from #ResiliencetoEmpowerment, it is particularly very delightful for us to be able to say ‘resilience to empowerment’ because this present administration has instituted frameworks, strategies, programs, activities and budget lines that have enabled this agency, NSCC that was set up by law one year ago, to begin to roll back the many years of neglect, discrimination, whether it be systemic or institutional discrimination and roll back the many years of abuse and now systematically begin to include older people in development”, she said.
The carnival train stopped over at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) where the NTA Director General, Mr. Salihu Dembos, represented by the Executive Director, Administration and Training, Dr. Steve Egbo, received the team, and said any society that neglects or forgets its older citizens is practically going nowhere as they [older persons] are the foundation of every society.
According to him, “They laid the groundwork which coming generations will build upon, but because of the systemic indifferences, at times we forget that this group of people are very important to us”, said the DG.