– Says protesting Olanada students were politically tutored
By Codratus Godson
Students of State School Olanada protested last week for neglect and abandonment in another man’s school but the Rivers State government has hit back, saying the mess was created by the former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Nigerians get angry when a sitting president blames a mess on his predecessor.
Now, the Rivers State government has declared that it rather inherited the rot from Amaechi, saying it was however striving to address it.
Addressing journalists after an inspection visit to State School One and State School Two Olanada, Port Harcourt, Rivers State Education Commissioner, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, stated that the State Government has also improved the teaching staff to meet up recent educational challenges.
The Olanada crisis:
He said: “There are issues of relocation of schools by the immediate past administration. Before now in this compound, we use to have Community Secondary School, Olanada. The former governor relocated these children with the promise that a new school would be built. The secondary school was relocated to Army Secondary School, Bori Camp. After construction, he established State School 1 Olanada and State School 2, Olanada.
“The relocated children were still at Bori Camp until the Army authority could no longer house them. They spent over six years before the board intervened and relocated them to State School 2 in GRA.”
He added: “Community Secondary School Olanada is not the only school where the immediate past administration of Amaechi demolished a school and did not reconstruct it. There are several of such schools across the state where students and staff were dislodged. We have reconstructed several of these schools across the state and we are reconstructing more. This is an ongoing programme”.
He warned Rivers opposition politicians against using school children for politics. He urged opposition politicians to always consider the interest of the state at all times.
He said: “Our politicians should not drag innocent children into the politics of the state. On Monday when I arrived here, there were shocking revelations. When I got here, I saw they were carrying placards. The wordings of the placards were well crafted politically. They are terms used every day by the opposition party politicians in the state. The protest was pre-arranged with journalists invited. I think there were series of meetings and these children were tutored. These children couldn’t have arranged for the coverage. The students were unruly.”
The Commissioner assured Rivers people that Governor Wike is already working to address the issues of schools relocated by the Amaechi administration to unknown destinations.
The larger rot
The Education Commissioner stated that the orchestrated protest by students of Community Secondary School, Olanada, Port Harcourt, brought to the fore the unfortunate rot that the failed immediate past Amaechi administration left behind after squandering state resources.
He said that the Wike administration has repositioned majority of the schools and their teaching staff for optimal performance.
He said over 250 schools have been reconstructed and equipped with thousands of teachers trained to meet the educational needs of the state.
He stated: “Since coming on board, the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has been addressing these inherited challenges. In many of these schools, we have constructed new structures to accommodate the staff and students. This is an ongoing process and it will take a while.
“If you go to Community Secondary School, Nkpogu, you will discover that there is no more secondary school at that location. It was on inspection at Government Secondary School Elekahia that I saw three different uniforms on the school compound. We had Community Secondary School, Nkpogu, Community Secondary School and Junior Secondary School, Nkpogu. The former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, demolished the Community Secondary School, Nkpogu, and relocated them to Elekahia with a promise to construct a new school at the location. As I speak, there is no single block to show that a school existed there.
“I drew the attention of His Excellency, Governor Wike, and he gave us the approval to construct a new school for the children to return to their original school at Nkpogu. We have started the construction. We have such situations across the state and we are addressing them.”
The Rivers State Education Commissioner noted that Governor Wike inherited a rotten and messy situation in the education sector of Rivers State from former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi