On 29th May 2011, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State was overwhelmed. On this day, he was inaugurated for a second term in office. Among his promises, he avowed that his leadership would take qualitative education in the state seriously. He said that the ongoing school projects in the state will in no distant time be equipped and completed by the government.
While Omar praised Amaechi, it would be good Omar is reminded that qualitative education is not in building edifices but in instilling and encouraging knowledge into people; and that education is not an ending issue but school is. So, EDUCATION is not in those edifices, but in how equipped and sound the teachers going to use the edifices are in impacting knowledge into the people going to use the edifices.
Anybody can praise and laud the governor for doing a good job, just for political gains, without telling him about the areas he was erring. How justified is this statement credited to a Monsignor who is also Professor of Education in the state is? “The schools are dignifying and students that would pass through it will be mentally equipped that they will not think of engaging in crime especially if the management of the school also considers their religious upbringings,” said the Monsignor. Hmm! Just cheap. Political sentiment of a Monsignor.
Just read this credited to a Reverend Father in the state: “This is beautiful, just good, this is what it should be, noting that the only fear is in terms of sustainability and I call for proper training of teachers and effective monitoring of academic performance”. Very good of a Reverend Father.
While the Monsignor was talking about being RELIGIOUS, the Reverend Father was talking about MORALITY. Religiosity has been the bane of this country called Nigeria and her religionist patrons and matrons. Left for the Monsignor, the schools should charge fees according to religious affiliations, without minding that many poor parents cannot afford to send their wards to the school. If that should be the case.
As part of EDUCATION, we are still waiting for Amaechi and the state government to inaugurate their Songhai Model Farm to enable those trained by the state in Benin Republic practices the skill they have acquired. Or have they inaugurated the farm? Is farming not part of education? What people are seeing are ultra-modern schools everywhere, but education should also be in training people in vocational skills. Nigeria sef! What about educating people to do vulcanizing, road side mechanic, automobile elections etc. Time shall come in this country when we shall only have educated men and women with pen and not with skills if we continue to see education restricted to classroom knowledge alone.
On the construction of Model Primary Schools and Health Centres, how are we sure that Amaechi awarded contract for the remaining ones, as he promised it would be done before the end of September 2010? Here he is again during his 2011 inaugural speech talking about COMPLETION of the schools. When will this end? Again, what do we do about the education of our people in the Riverrine areas since many believe that EDUCATION would be found in the schools that Amaechi is building since they do not have land for such structures? However, Amaechi once said: "No matter the amount of pressure on government, the point remains that the most important thing you need is land for the expansion of the community".
It is very sad that it could be noted that the state government does not share political positions for the people, but the people sing political sentiments into Governor Amaechi for cheap gains. To this set of individuals, they would not want Governor Amaechi to build the (TALL DREAM) prosperous Rivers State that will offer unparalleled opportunities to indigenes and non-indigenes living in the state. People should learn how to tell each other the truth, and forget what they stand to gain or lose. Governor Amaechi could be seen is doing well but has not tremendously done well. At least, the state government’s current negotiation from the Federal Government to allow it for the distribution of electricity from the State’s Independent Power Project, is a feat achieved, as many of us are seeing the significance. There is constant electricity now, even though not 24-hour uninterrupted power supply. But let’s hope it lasts.
Amaechi should help in making the life of the ordinary man count in Rivers State, irrespective of state of origin. Turning the story of Rivers people around should not only be contained in building infrastructure but in empowering people. This empowerment should also be lengthened to not only sycophants around him, but to some of the people outside the corridors of power toiling in one way or the other in seeing that his government works with suggestions and solutions provided by them. Politics and governance should be separable even though that Amaechi believes that they are inseparable twins.
Amaechi should always know that he is a product of divine help on October 27, 2007 following a Supreme Court ruling which declared him the rightful standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship polls and governor. He should always hold in affirmative his thinking that the poor are direct beneficiaries of government policies, and not intentionally designed on papers for them. Amaechi should re-define his initiated reported impact-driven projects which was said were fast transforming the lives of the poor in Rivers State within his first few months in office in 2007. He should not be far from the people now. He should restate taking the time at interval to address stakeholders’ meeting and hold town hall meetings and accountability forums. Let it not be that he did these things in his first tenure for the people to re-elect, and thereby would abandon them. Education is beyond acquiring certificates.