By Wilson Ruvwoghor,
Whether by compromise or ignorance of its leaders, I would rather believe more in the latter, it’s so embarrassing that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is so anonymous in leading viable opposition in Delta state.
Even with two incumbent senators, one of them a power broking Deputy Senate President, Delta APC is so blind to championing public disapproval of the profound flaws, weaknesses and impunity, willful or unintentional, being exhibited by the negligent ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
This disposition is quite in contrast with the case in Rivers state. Even with no elected officeholder at all tiers, Rivers APC would cash in on any slip by the ruling PDP state government to raise scathing criticisms against a Governor Nyesom Wike that’s delivering milestone projects like no man business.
In Delta, even when it manages to question the governance missteps of Okowa, the APC Delta does so with kindergarten appeal that prefers they are better of remaining closemouthed than uttering gibberish, like the recent press release accusing Okowa of directing one Delta varsity to demarket another.
The APC Delta in its characteristic made a mockery of its leaders in that press release by aligning with the politicised duplication of mushroom universities by a Delta state stagnated under Okowa.
It’s not enough to duplicate mushroom varsities because more Deltans need admission. University admission is a competitive exercise to accommodate people with capacity, who can beat the competition in the drive to stimulate academic excellence that is in a normal society where merit prevails over entitlement or nepotistic mentality.
Not everyone deserves varsity admission. No amount of duplication of universities will give admission to every varsity education seeker in Delta, or anywhere else in the country.
A Delta state under a negligent government that cares about only the pockets of officeholders doesn’t have the economic discipline to duplicate universities when she can barely keep afloat hitherto politicised fragmentation of DELSU into multi campuses. The state hasn’t even implemented a minimum wage for basic school teachers.
Delta secondary schools are without Maths teachers. At least I know that in Jeremi Secondary School, in the headquarters of Ughelli South, Classes JSS1-SSS1 have not been receiving Maths lessons for the past two sessions, likely have lingered much longer beyond the period I noticed. Officeholders from the locality, Current SSG, then Commissioner for Basic Education, Celestine Ukah, attested to it.
The only Maths teacher for such a big school has been handling only SSS2-3 because she only handles as much. Worried by the development, Otughievwen Community leadership had to, in self-help, hire Maths teachers at the community’s expense to fill the gap.
So, everything was wrong from the beginning with Okowa’s politicised varsities in a state already bloated with duplicated polytechnics and colleges of education.
That misplaced motive was to share varsities across senatorial districts to win electorates attention for 2023 and to score some mundane egoistic legacy for Okowa, not for any genuine purpose of improving education in Delta.
Because the motive was wrong and derailed from the beginning, what you get is what is happening now. It’s not about Okowa directing his home university to drop standards as a measure of demarketing DELSU, Abraka or Oleh Campuses.
It’s just about desperation for self-preservation by the new campuses by their management. A Professor with higher incentives and growth opportunities to grab has the liberty to port to a new ground that offers soft landing.
Find out, as the Okowa community university is lowering the standards to poach lecturers from older campuses, so will they admit every failure that can present any WAEC paper qualification to gain admission, without paying meaningful attention to diligent verifications of qualifying credentials.
Who will suffer the consequence? A shared pain, poor quality, anything-goes kind of education, aggravated sex or money for grades tendencies among lecturers and students. More half-baked graduates, a grave danger to society in the end.
So, if we do not have a lame, one-man show APC opposition in Delta, the right thing for the party to do was to have come out strong in condemnation of Okowa’s politicised duplication of state-owned varsities from the beginning.
It’s no surprise, Delta APC is flagging this sucking it calls press release, romancing Okowa. And to imagine that in raising this concern, APC which should be the lead opposition in Delta, is beggarly calling on “well-meaning Deltans to question” Okowa.
Is the APC not peopled by members well-meaning enough to question Okowa? Of course, the one-man leader of the party is half APC, half PDP. He won’t have the temerity, not well-meaning enough, to question Okowa, so he doesn’t compromise his 2023 political ambition.
Almost everyone, including card-carrying members, agrees, no APC in Delta. No opposition in Delta. Delta APC is just a gang of strange lovebirds flocking by convenience.
That kindergarten press release, such annoying gibberish.