Showing posts with label Owelle Rochas Okorocha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Owelle Rochas Okorocha. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2011

Governor Rochas: Declare State Of Emergency in State Public Schools

Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State

Governor Rochas: Declare State Of Emergency in State Public Schools

~ By Nwaorgu Faustinus

Though the 2011general elections in Imo state have come and gone, with particular reference to the governorship polls where the people’s candidate, Rochas Okorocha defeated the incumbent governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim who did not leave any stone unturned in opening his frightful financial political muscle in order to perpetuate himself in office, which of course did fail. What is the trend now are the comments, analyses, advice, suggestions, opinions and articles against and for the legality behind the dissolution of the 27 LGAs by the new administration in Imo State.

Primary School Pupils. Photo Credit: Imo State Blog

Now that the parties involved (the state government and the dissolved Council LGAs) are locked in a legal battle over the dissolution of the Council Areas, which is the constitutional thing to do, one can not forget in a hurry the first casualties of Oweelle Rochas’s action as he assumed office which political analysts and observers say will ever remain indelible in the minds of many. The court having taken over the
case, there should be cessation of comments because a case or dispute as the above is not trashed out on pages of newspapers or internet based media sites but in a competent court of law.

The kernel of this piece is the challenges or Herculean tasks that stare the state government in the face with respect to the education sector, which are multifaceted given the lean resources at its prudent use. One major area Chief Rochas Okorocha must take proactive step to revolutionalize is the education sector among other sectors. The importance of education is so invaluable that any state, society country or nation cannot toy with it. Education without mincing words is enlightenment and avenue of advancement which ought to be sustained for generation as according to Sunday Atomode, “it is a legacy which when bestowed cannot be withdrawn on any account except perhaps through inhuman degradation of brainwashing or disease that cause memory lost”. Therefore, education remains the upholder of the expectation, hope and yearnings for the poorest of the poor of society.

Without doubt, it is the eternal bequest any society, government,
administration or nation can give its citizen or natives. It is
therefore a commendable first step taken by the governor when he
announced that his government will give free education to primary and
secondary school students as well as review downwards school fees paid
in higher institutions as part of his party’s campaign promise and
education policy.

To achieve its education policy, the security votes of the Governor,
Deputy Governor, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, the Chief Judge and
House Members was cut from 6.5 billion naira to 2.5 billion naira.
Given the premium the governor attaches to education, unlike previous
administrations, he toured many several primary and secondary schools
to have first hand information about the state of affairs in the
educational institutions which are in great pathetic situation,
capable of making one sigh, sad and wonder why the schools are the way
they are.

Given the deplorable state of most public primary and secondary
schools in Imo State, one wonders if the free education policy of the
current administration is a way of declaring a state of emergency in
that sector. If it is not, a total war should be unleashed in the
sector bearing in mind the mammoth decay in our citadels of learning
across the various Local Government Areas. A visit to most schools
will reveal great decay in infrastructure such as school buildings,
libraries, classrooms, toilets, laboratories among others. Amala/Ntu
Secondary School in Ngor/Okpala LGA can be used as a good reference
point of a school that has witnessed infrastructural decay and neglect
by previous administration on one hand and vandalization at the other.
Apart from these, there is depopulation of staff and students’
population in many rural primary and secondary schools, inadequate
teaching materials and seats. In the time past, it was a tradition or
policy of the government to equip schools with seats but today most
students, if not all go to market to purchase seats they use in

In addition to free education given to primary and secondary school
students, the present administration should as a matter of urgency
renovate and build new structures that will accommodate new students,
poor students who dropped out of school and students who will leave
private schools soon for public schools as a result of the
introduction of free education in the state. Similarly, old or non
functional principal and teachers quarters should be renovated and new
ones built to accommodate some categories of teachers. Furthermore,
the governor should put a programme of action in place with a view to
making it compulsory for teachers to live in the school environment in
order to monitor the behaviour of students apart from being available
to assist them solve academic problems that are related to subjects
they teach. Their salary should be paid as at when due and promotion
extended to deserving ones to encourage them put in their best.

On the issue of limited number of staff in some primary and secondary
schools, the state government should deploy more teachers to schools
where their services are needed as there are schools that lack
teachers who will teach certain subjects. Lateness to school should
not be tolerated as there should be mechanism put in place to monitor
teachers. In this regard, unscheduled visits should be paid to schools
where the culture of late coming has been established with a view to
punishing culprits to serve as a deterrent to others. If need be,
teachers who are perpetual late comers should be dismissed. Students
who come to school late should also be punished adequately to
discourage others from doing the same.

Security in and around state public schools especially primary and
secondary schools should be encouraged by way of providing security
guards for the schools to protect life and property. Apart from
security, the state government should equip libraries, introductory
technology workshops, science laboratories among others in state
public schools. It is now the trend to set up computer laboratories to
encourage the teaching of computer in primary and secondary schools.
The state government should key into this by establishing computer
laboratory in the schools.

There should be training and retraining of teachers so as to gain
effective means of imparting knowledge into the students. This will go
along way in making the students to compete favourably with their
counterparts abroad.

Finally, the state government if need be, should borrow a leaf from
the education policy of Rivers State government if the words of Mr.
Abdulwaheed Omar, President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is any
thing to go by. According to him, "As a professional teacher I can
testify that the new schools built by the administration are a
reflection of focused leadership. As a teacher I am highly impressed
with this kind of school facilities provided by the Rivers State
Government for its children."

It could be recalled that governor Amaechi declared state of emergency
in the education sector when he assumed the administration of Rivers
State. Today, he has given a facelift to the sector.

Nwao(r)gu, Faustinus Chilee writes from Igboetche, Port Harcourt,
Rivers State. Mobile: +2348035601312.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Imo State: Owelle Rochas Not A Miracle Worker

Imo State: Owelle Rochas Not A Miracle Worker

~ By Nwaorgu Faustinus

Majority of Imo indigenes and non indigenes will agree to some extent that the butted past administration led by one of the most hated, alleged criminal cum 419ner, cunning, heartless etc, governor Ohakim who has earned for himself the above sobriquet as well as “Ikiri/ewi” during and after his wasteful campaign outing, proved to be a “sore’ Chief Executive ever produced in the annals of Imo State politics.

His perceived and proven commissions and omissions are largely responsible for his disastrous bowing out of the government house which most people see as good radiance to poor governance. However, this writer does not want to dwell on Mr. Ohakim’s political flaws which I know are in the realm of public knowledge but my advice to our nascent governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha is to guard himself from or against reenacting the tragedies of the past.

Dissecting the suitability of Owelle for the governorship post prior to gubernatorial poll, one Obi Nwakanma wrote, “Rochas Okorocha, the APGA candidate, is a very interesting character and deserves closer watch. His political history, his intellectual capacities, and his background indicate that he is also likely to bring into the state, a terrible regime of maladministration.”

Mr. Nwakanma pointed out thus, “All we need to arrive at this conclusion is simply to examine his conducts as Chairman of the National Airspace Management Agency. A little peep into his website indicates a serious lack of in sight. His great credential is of a “philanthropist” – Eze Umu-ogbeye, as the Igbo would put it. Charity is a good thing, but there is certainly a higher form of charity wherever there is equality; and I’m afraid that a cursory look at Okorocha does not satisfy the imperative for a 21st century administrator in Imo State.”

Whatever might be the reason behind Mr. Nwakanma’s conclusion may not be unconnected with his own purported personal interest - for he inclined to support the candidature of Mr. Emeka Nwajiuba of the Congress of Progressive Change CPC whom he endorsed on the grounds of being a young professional, well-educated, and astute politician among other credentials of the CPC candidate.

Before I left my base in Port Harcourt for Ngor/Okpala before the elections to exercise my franchise, I had already made up my mind to vote for Owelle Rochas base on his track record in granting scholarship to many students, his good name and philanthropic works that do not only resonate in Nigeria but also outside the shores of Nigeria. Calls came from both Nigeria and abroad on the need to rally support for this God, electorate-favored personality – Owelle Rochas. This, strengthen my conviction that he was the one most favoured, loved, legitimate and accepted candidate to occupy the government house and it came to pass – today he is the Governor of Imo State.

The truth is Imolites have high expectations from the successive government, led by Mr. Owelle Rochas. The question is, how he will go about to actualize such enormous aspiration and yearnings of Imo people given the present economic fortunes of the state, passed unto him by prodigious “Ikiri”? Such hopes include rapid and even distribution of infrastructural facilities; good roads, well equipped and staffed schools, health centers and hospitals and portable water across the twenty seven Local Government Areas. In addition, employment generation; prompt payment of pensioners and salaries of civil servants, protection of life and property, reduction in tuition fee of students in higher institutions among others are top in the minds of Imo people.

Needless to talk about the state of our roads, educational institutions, hospitals, health centers which are melancholic sights to behold, no thanks to past kleptomaniac regimes whose stock in trade is to line their pockets and stash our common patrimony in closely guarded foreign banks.

Though it has been said that Mr. Owelle Rochas is bighearted, but can only his generousity deliver the dividends of democracy at the door steps of Imolites? It is his deeply seated determination, persistence and the crop of likeminded personalities that would work with him who have the overall interest of Imo people at heart given the vital enablement (funds for the execution of people oriented projects) that will see him through. Any thing short of this will bring us back to where we were four years ago because you are not a miracle worker.

Therefore, you should have the necessary sights – insight, hindsight and foresight to be able to select those to work with you to lift Imo from its comatose state to El Dorado. The time to play out your rescue mission to the letter is now and brings Imo back to what it used to be when Sam Mbakwe was the Chief Executive.

Nwao(r)gu, Faustinus Chilee writes from Igboetche, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Mobile: +2348035601312. Email: