The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Delta State Chapter has dismissed the latest Press Release by the State All Progressives Congress, APC, titled “DELTA APC REJECTS ASTRONOMICAL HIKE IN SCHOOL FEES IN DELTA STATE BY PDP-LED OKOWA ADMINISTRATION”, describing it as cheap and dangerous propaganda to mislead Deltans with the intent to score cheap political points.
A statement by the Delta PDP State Publicity Secretary Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza, reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a spurious and totally provocative, misleading drivel signed by a certain Dr Omene Odafe, who claims to be the Director of Publicity, APC Delta State.
“We do not wish to join issues with this Dr Odafe who postures as the new so-called APC Delta Director of Publicity, for the simple reason that we have actually lost count of the very many claimants, charlatans, and pretenders to this title, that we have had to engage in the past four years which, on its own, is a clear affirmation that the APC is still a party in name, without form, structure, and Identity.
“Nevertheless, we equally recognize the desperate effort of this so-called Dr. Odafe and the dire need for him to attract some relevance to justify the fugitive, yet transitory and evanescent nature of his new status, and thus, it behoves us, as a responsible political party to clear the air and doubts on the misleading issue of ‘hike in school fees’ just to humour him, by setting the records straight for Deltans.
1. The erudite, dynamic, and performing Vice Chancellor of Delta State University, the distinguished Professor Andy Egwuyenga, has already cleared the air and set the records straight on the issue of new fees with his statement thus: “The adjustment is only for incoming students. No increase for stale students. There’s too much ignorance about the emergent issues involved.
”DELSU is still among the least fee-paying universities in Delta State. Some people have made it a sign of heroism to insult me. I take them in good faith. In time to come, the farsightedness in DELSU’s decision will become obvious. DELSU is on the rise and now very competitive as a University. We must swallow the bitter pill now for a sustainable higher education.
”To cushion the pains, we now have instalment payment of fees and students work-study program for indigent students to earn extra money while studying. 50% of the work-study is reserved for new students, whose fees have been increased. As for the doctored audio, people can choose what to believe.”
2. It is also on record that amongst all the State-owned Universities across the country, Delta State Universities are amongst the few least fee-paying institutions in the Country for new intakes, stale students, indigenes, and non-indigenes. We, therefore, advise Dr Odafe, as he embarks on his new onerous and thankless assignment as the latest, interim APC spokesperson, to at least bring some credibility to his status, by doing a little bit of research before rushing to publish in the public space.
3. In fact and from available, incontrovertible facts, APC States are currently charging far more than DELSU for universities and we want to warn Deltans to beware of APC hypocrisy in its statement, because like universities in APC controlled States, they plan to charge even more, if they manage to achieve the impossible, by smuggling themselves into any kind of position of power and authority.
4. It is obvious that the APC is completely ignorant of the fact that the Higher Education system is largely autonomous and, like is the best practice worldwide, the management of these institutions evolve policies to sustain and upgrade their standards, without being dictated to by the government.
5. Sadly again, is the unfortunate situation that APC is merely playing politics with education and not concerned about facts on the escalating cost of higher education, especially at the Federal level, where the APC led government’s mismanagement of education is glaringly manifested and it is part of this incompetence that has led to perennial and unending strikes in Universities, which Nigerian students and parents are now suffering.
6. Let us equally state categorically here, that the establishment of new universities by the government has democratized higher education and opened access to more Deltans and this is one of the major reasons Deltans will continue to reject APC because it has no good plans for our children and people.
7. For the avoidance of doubt, let’s state it clearly once again, that the PDP government in the State is still and will continue to support higher education far more than other State Governments.
8. We wish to also draw the attention of the ignorant APC to a well-circulated official press statement from THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, STUDENTS UNION GOVERNMENT, DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, in which the very articulate students’ union leader, Amb. Cyprian Odifili, set out in very brilliant and unambiguous clarity, the efforts of the students union body, to dialogue with all parties including the obviously sponsored “concerned citizens”, as well as the management of DELSU, which are already yielding excellent results.
9. As for the other silly innuendos and flippant gibberish by the loquacious APC, on the sterling, well documented, and universally applauded performance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the delivery of legacy infrastructural projects and unparalleled good governance, we just want to say that we have heard it all before and we didn’t expect less from Dr Odafe, who is obviously in a frenzy to impress his new masters that he is equal to the task of promoting a shapeless, formless political party that is confused, fractured, factionalized and completely non-existent, except in name alone.
It is a shame that, in this day and age when Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been embraced wholeheartedly across the globe as major economic initiatives to create entrepreneurs, and most growing economies are now private sector driven, the hapless APC still has the analog mindset of creating white-collar jobs in a 21st-century economy, instead of applauding the postmodern initiatives of STEP, YAGEP, PPSP, the Micro Credit Scheme and other skills training and support programmes which have created hundreds of thousands of young Delta entrepreneurs already.
Finally, let us assure the APC in Delta State that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (Ekwueme) is not and will never be distracted by these puerile and kindergarten efforts of the APC, to rake up futile and unnecessary misinformation about the issue of fees in Delta State Universities, in the collective effort towards building and consolidating a #StrongerDelta for Deltans.
Those who value education will soon realise that in the fullness of time, some of these measures will begin to yield results and like the eminent Prof. Egwuyenga said: “In time to come the far-sightedness in DELSU’s decision will become obvious. DELSU is on the rise and now very competitive as a University. We must swallow the bitter pill now for a sustainable higher education”.
APC should therefore stop inciting unsuspecting Deltans to violence, actions capable of breaching the peace and allow genuine well-meaning stakeholders to employ dialogue, which is already ongoing, to address and resolve any and all grey areas.
PDP! Power to the People!!
Dr. Ifeanyi M. Osuoza
State Publicity Secretary,
PDP, Delta State.