By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The National Association of Nigeria Students Ogun State Chapter (NAOSS) has given Governor Dapo Abiodun 21-day ultimatum to appoint a substantive commissioner for the state ministry of Education.
The state union threatened to embark on massive state protests if the governor fails to answer their request.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National President of NAOSS, Comrade Ogunrombi Oluwagbemileke, and the state chairman, NANS, JCC, Ogun State, Comrade Bambgose Tomiwa.
According to the release, ”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 appealed 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.
”The sector has been undeveloped and suffered for long in the hands of those we described as nonprofessionals and emergency educationalists who are just mere window dressers.
”It is with great pleasure we welcome you all to this press briefing. We thank our co-compatriots in the fourth estate of the realm that despite their tight schedule and at short notice spare their time to be part of this all important press conference.
”We wish to use this opportunity to register our total 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 a large section of the people of the State.
”There have been calls from stakeholders, well meaning members of the public and the student community in the State”
The students urged the Governor to as a matter of urgency see the education sector in the State by appointing a Professor and an experienced educationalist as a substantive Commissioner for Education.
They said that 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.
”We have so far tolerated this disregard for too long and we can no longer take it anyone, therefore, we want to issue 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”
They, therefore, lamented that Abiodun has refused to consider the plight of Nigerian Students, saying that they shall occupy the streets until their voices are considered as the way forward for the education sector in the State.