Yanju Uwala in Abeokuta
The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), has registered their displeasure and disappointment at Governor Dapo Abiodun’s refusal to appoint a Commissioner for the Ministry of Education, despite numerous calls from stakeholders in the sector and across a large section of people in the State.
Penpushing reports that there have been numerous calls from stakeholders, well meaning members of the public and the student community in the State, urging Abiodun to as a matter of urgency safe the education sector in the state by appointing a Professor and an experienced educationalist as a substantive Commissioner for Education.
The leadership of the the associations , Comrade Oluwagbemileke Ogunrombi and Comrade Tomiwa Bamgbose, respectively during a text of joint Press Conference held in, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, pointed out that the Governor has not only determined not to effect a change on the issue, but also refused to make statement on why the Ministry has no Commissioner.
“But Governor Abiodun has not only remain adamant on the issue, he has also refused to come out publicly to address the issue either has he given any cogent reason why such an important Ministry like Education has remain without a substantive Commissioner for over one year. We view the Governor’s refusal to yield to these calls to mean one thing – disregard for the people of the State, especially the students who are the major stakeholder in the sector,” the statement said.
Penpushing further reports that, the associations gave the Governor 21-days ultimatum to appoint a Commissioner for Education, else they will embark on a massive protest across the State ,stressing,. “we have so far tolerated this disregard for too long and we can no longer take it anyone’
‘Therefore, we want to issue a 21-day ultimatum to Governor Abiodun to appoint an experienced Professor and a core educationalist as the substantive Commissioner failure of which we will embark on massive protests across the State until our request is met’.
“The leadership of NANS and NAOSS note that, for the Governor to turn around the fortunes of education for good, he needs a thorough, seasoned and reputable Ogun indigene who is a professor and core educationalist with track records of unprecedented achievements to actualise his visions for delivering a quantitative and qualitative education to the people of the State’
“The vacuum in the Ministry has been responsible for the underdevelopment of the education sector in the State and as a major stakeholder in the education sector, we will not standby and fold our arms and watch the sector collapse as a result of the leadership vacuum in the Ministry of Education”, they noted.
Penpushing also reports that the bodies, however demanded that Abiodun appoints an experienced educationalist to pilot the affairs of the Ministry of Education in the State, adding, “we hereby demand that Governor Abiodun appoint an experienced educationalist who is not lesser than a professor as the Commissioner to pilot the affairs of the Ministry of Education in the State.
“While we believe in the leadership capacity of Governor Abiodun and trust his ability to turn around the fortunes of the State for good, we appeal to him to shop for a credible, reliable and capable Ogun indigene from tertiary institutions across the country to appoint as a Commissioner for Education,” they demanded.
The bodies pointed that, the education sector in the state, has been underdeveloped and also suffered for long in the hands of those who can be described as non professionals and emergency educationalists, who are just mere window dressers, and therefore make some recommendations .
“That education is not a sector to be given lip service to and as such, the sector deserves genuine and serious attention that will lead to the formulation of policies that will reposition education in Ogun and catapult the State back to its leading position as the best State in educational development in the Federation.
“That for the above and other lofty dreams to be achieved, the sector needs a core educationalist, an experienced Professor to drive the sector for unparalleled development. That we have obviously felt the impact of having a Professor, in person of Prof. Sidi Osho in the Ministry, especially in our higher institutions’.
“That the Governor should select from the pool of professionals in the sector – there are hundreds of Professors across the universities in the country that are indigenes of Ogun State (former ASUU Chairmen, former VCs, among others) that have spent decades in the education sector and appoint one of them as a Commissioner’.
“Considering the broadness of the Ministry (TESCOM, SUBEB, and other agencies under the Ministry) which are mostly headed or handled by politicians as a form of compensation, as such, the Ministry must be headed or managed by a core educationalist with vast wealth of experience in the education sector’.
‘That the Ministry already has a Dr/Professor as a Special Adviser on Technical Education and bringing someone lesser of a status a professor to head the Ministry will be tantamount to deliberate backwardness of the Ministry by the government. That preferably, the Commissioner should be a male, to curb the obvious ego and disorderliness in the Ministry.
“That the student leadership passionately appeal to you (Governor Abiodun) to see it needful to consider this recommendations as the only way to restore the lost glory of the sector. That during the eight years of former Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel, education in Ogun State was second to none because the Ministry was managed by core professionals, as a matter of fact, Professors were appointed Commissioners and this led to unmatched achievements in the sector, among which is about the birth of TASUED and many other developments.
“That while Senator Ibikunle Amosun was the Governor for eight years, he saw the appointment of a Commissioner in the Ministry as tool to compensate the Barrister that handled his Election Petition Tribunal case, the Ministry suffered a lot and although his 8 years regime, the Ministry was successfully put in a state of comma”
Penpushing further reports that the students’ bodies pledges to occupy the streets if Governor Abiodun fails to consider their request, until their voices are considered as the way forward for the Education sector in the State.