The Executive Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Communications, Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, has said that the recent Bills sent to the Delta State House of Assembly, for the upgrade of three Institutions of higher learning in the state, was done without tribal or ethnic consideration.
The EACGOV in a statement on Monday, disclosed that the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, does not and will not govern the state along ethnic or tribal colouration and that the upgrade of the College of Education Agbor, Ozoro Polytechnic and Anwai campus of Delta State University, to full-fledged Universities; was based on government-specific focus at this time, to further boost the educational sector in line with the state and federal governments revised policy on Education.
Oghenesivbe, a lawyer posited that activist Sheriff Mulade, got it wrong when he insisted via the media that failure by the Okowa government to upgrade certain schools and institutions in Ijaw and Itsekiri nations would amount to injustice, pointing out that the state government under Okowa have been fair to Delta South Senatorial District, comprising Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities, in terms of political appointments, infrastructure development, job and wealth creation for the people.
He further asserted that school upgrade must meet certain criteria and must seek to address specific challenge or challenges and projected measurable benefits for the targeted class of people, adding that as a self-acclaimed educationist, Mulade knows that the three upgraded institutions of higher learning in the state, will admit students from the three senatorial districts without segregation, nepotism or ethnic criteria.
According to Oghenesivbe, Governor Okowa is a detribalised Deltan, a pragmatic leader and a father figure, who does not patronise tribal or ethnic sentiments in governance.
He said the governor believes strongly in the equitable distribution of power, fair allocation of resources and spread of infrastructural development across the three senatorial districts.
The governor’s aide added that it was very unfair for Mulade, who in time past attested to the moral and leadership integrity of the governor, to want to involve him in tribal and ethnic politics, which the governor abhors.
“Mulade has done well for speaking his mind, but he goofed big time by localizing the proposed upgrade of schools, and for radically introducing tribal and ethnic colourations in these all-important projects in the educational sector by the state governor and the government.
“Schools upgrade is not a tea party and does not come by mere wishes. It must address a visible challenge and meet specific needs. It must be beneficial to the vast majority of the people in accordance with subsisting government policies and agenda, and above all, it must not be too stressful in terms of funding so that government can meet other needs of the people.
“More schools may be upgraded in the future, and it may happen during the life span of this administration or during subsequent administrations. No government can meet all the needs of the people within eight (8) years, which is why it may not be practically feasible for this administration to upgrade all schools in the state.
“Mulade, as an educationist with huge financial resources can as well partner with government or other stakeholders to fund the upgrade of some schools and run them profitably or on a charity basis, because government alone cannot meet all the needs of the people,” Oghenesivbe suggested.