. . . Laments neglect of Oleh campus
….Says gov entrenching nepotism in all facets of administration
The Isoko Monitoring Group, IMG, has lamented the neglect of the Delta State University, Oleh campus and the poor development of the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro by the state government, saying Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was killing all tertiary institutions in the state in favour of the Owa-Alero campus of the newly created University of Delta, Agbor.
IMG, in a communique issued at the end of an extraordinary emergency meeting, said “Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has and is entrenching nepotism in all facets of his administration of our dear Delta State.”
The group, in the communique signed on it’s behalf by Dr. Kingsley Oroh, said: “We wish to express our total dissatisfaction at the manner with which the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa is piloting the affairs of our dear State, especially as it affects the development of Tertiary Institutions in Delta State.
“Suffice it that, the Law and Engineering Faculties of Delta State University, Oleh Campus, which have been in existence for decades have been wickedly deprived of development and have been perpetually abandoned by the State Government for no justifiable reason.
“The Campus lacks functional facilities, good laboratories, manpower, and good road network. It is a shame on the government that Isoko Sons and Daughters have been funding the supposed State University after several pleas to the state government have fallen on deaf ears.
“While this unwarranted underdevelopment persisted, the State Governor hurriedly established three new State Universities, among which is the University of Science and Technology, Ozoro.
“Unknowing to us, this was a well concocted plot by the Governor to kill all Tertiary Institutions in the State in favor of the newly created University of Delta, Agbor that has a Campus in the Governor’s hometown, Owa-Alero.
“While both the old Oleh Campus and newly established University in Ozoro lay fallow and undeveloped, the same government is speedily and massively developing the Faculties of Law, Engineering and Medicine at the Owa-Alero Campus of the University of Agbor.
“A proposed University of Education (as the Governor wanted Deltans to believe) now has Faculties of Law, Engineering and Medicine with massive construction ongoing funded by proceeds of Crude Oil and gas from six (6) flow stations and four (4) gas plants in the Isoko nation whereas the Governor by his actions and inactions, has already declared the death sentence on the Oleh Campus of the Delta State University which hosts the Faculties of Law and Engineering.
“To show the Governors’ true intent, a bill has been hurriedly put together and sent to the House of Assembly to give legal backing to the establishment of the Faculties of Law, Engineering and Medicine in addition to the Faculty of Education which the University was meant to focus on being a University of Education.
“Governor Okowa may want to make us believe that the huge infrastructural and manpower investment the University of Delta State, Agbor is receiving is because the University was just recently upgraded from a College of Education to a University. If that is the case, we want Governor Okowa to explain to the Isoko People why the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro which was also recently upgraded from a Polytechnic to a University Status is not receiving similar level of investment.
“The IMG thinks the only reason this is the case is because the Delta State University of Science and Technology is not located at Owa-Alero, Okowa’s hometown. We see Governor Okowa’s huge investment in the University at Owa-Alero while neglecting the University campuses sited in Isoko land, as an extension of the ‘’Ikanisation’’, nay, ‘’Owa-Alerolization’’ policy of the Delta State Government under Governor Okowa to the education sector and a deliberate ploy to relegate to the background and kill all Tertiary Institutions in Delta State, especially Oleh Campus and University of Science and Technology, Ozoro in favor of his hometown, Owa-Alero Campus and University of Delta, Agbor.
“This is totally unacceptable to us and in the next few days, should this lopsidedness not be addressed, we will be left with no option than to mobilize all well-meaning Isoko Sons and Daughters globally to begin to see Governor Okowa as an enemy of the Isoko nation.
“May we remind Governor Okowa that what he is attempting to do now, (namely killing all the campuses of tertiary institutions in other parts of the state so that only the University Campus in his hometown can blossom) has been unsuccessfully attempted by a former Governor of the state when he attempted to merge the three campus and move every faculty to Abraka.
“May we also remind Gov Okowa how the entire Isoko – Traditional Rulers, Political Leaders, Political Office Holders, the Isoko Youth Movement (as it then was), and all sons and daughters of Isoko rose in Unison to resist the attempt.
“We use this medium to also condemn the docility of Hon. Ferguson Onwo and Hon Kenneth Ogba who have made no attempt as representatives of the Isoko people to stop this perceived nepotistic agenda of the Governor on its tracks. Should Hons. Ferguson and Kenneth need Lessons on how to respond to this evil Owa-Alerolization Agenda, we advise them to visit Hons. Johnson Erijo and Hon. Lucky Okperi who along with Late Hon. Akegwure (God rest his soul) form Alliance with the Hon member representing Asaba where Anwai Campus is located, Hon Felicia Nwaeze reported to the Leaders of Thoughts of both the Isoko and Oshimili people the plan of the then Governor to merge the campuses when a Bill for same was presented to the house.
“We recall how these Hon Members threatened the State with a restraining Order from the Court to prevent the House of Assembly from deliberating on the Bill whilst also lobbying their colleagues to ensure that the move fails.
“We also recall that courtesy of the vigilance of these Legislators, The Isoko Youth Movement under the Leadership of Chief Fred Obe, Mobilized all Isoko Youths to shut down the state which forced the then Governor to same day make a State broadcast where he denied any plans to move all the campuses to Abraka but rather insisted that the plan of the state Government was to strengthen the existing Campuses and create new ones hence the announcement of the upgrade of the then College of Agriculture, Ozoro to a Polytechnic in the same broadcast.
“We are hereby calling on the State Government to as a matter of urgency extend the quality and speedy developmental projects at Owa-Alero Campus which also has a newly built specialist hospital to Oleh Campus and University of Science and Technology, Ozoro knowing that the Governor’s hometown and ethnic group does not contribute half of what Isoko contributes to the treasury of Delta State.
“We ask Governor Okowa to prove the Isoko people wrong that the widely held perception by many Isoko’s that he is an Ika Governor is not true by employing relevant manpower (lecturers) in Engineering, Aeronautics mostly Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors for both the Oleh Campus and the University of Science and Technology Ozoro to enable them scale through accreditation.”
The group also demanded the construction and equipping of Standard Engineering Laboratories and workshops as well as “Relocation of the Faculties of Environment, Agriculture, Management and Administration to Oleh Campus since the previously existing campuses of the Delta State University, it was only the Oleh Campus that has less than three faculties.
“Should the Governor fail to meet these demands in the next 30 days, we hereby call on Hons. Ferguson Onwo, Kenneth Ogba and Jude Ogbimi to follow the same template laid by the 1999-2003 class of Isoko Legislators. We also call on the Leadership of the Isoko Youths to immediately take decisive action like their predecessors did.
“In the same vein, we call on all Isoko political leaders to put Isoko above self and partisan interests to forthwith withdraw every support to the Okowa Governor and do whatever they can to encourage civil disobedience to a Governor whose penchant for nepotism surpasses that of President Buhari.
“We also call on the Prof. Akpotu led IDU to give support both openly and clandestinely to any actions that various Isoko groups may embark on in the following days to ensure this evil agenda of Governor Okowa is stopped on its tracks.”