Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says he does not believe that establishing more universities will solve the problems associated with higher education.
The governor in a statement by his Media Aide Mr Kelvin Ebiri stated this view while speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the establishment of the Emohua Campus of the Rivers State University in Emohua Local Government Area on Monday.
Governor Wike said what should be of more concern should be how more funds can be committed to existing universities, so that they can offer the needed holistic educational training in the production of requisite man power for the country.
“Why I cannot build more universities is not because I don’t have where to build (site) them. But it is to have the money to fund the universities. The ones we have, we have not been able to fund them.
“If I want to play politics, I can say I want to start University of Engineering. It is easy to say that, but to bring it down to what is truly expected of a university of engineering; to employ lecturers, to provide infrastructure, and the equipment that are required for modern engineering is not an easy thing.”
Governor Wike said, he is mindful of the dreams of the founding fathers of the state university that the institution should drive education related development from designated council areas in the state.
He stated that in addition to Etche, Ahoada and Emohua Campuses of the university, the government has decided to site another campus in Ogoniland.
“Because I believe in the dream of the founding fathers of this University, there’ll be another campus in Ogoni. I have already told the Pro-Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor of the university about it.
“I had earlier given out the premises of the Model Secondary School, Saakpenwa to the Kenule Benson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori. But the Chairman of the Governing Council of that institution said they don’t think they can use it.
“We can’t allow the structures to remain like that. So, a campus of the university will move in there immediately.
“Bori area is now like a town. By the time the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono road is completed, nobody will need to stay in Port Harcourt to go to work in Bori anymore.”
Performing the flag-off, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale noted the enormous investment in education, undertaken by Governor Wike, and he hinted that the governor is using it to achieve holistic development of the state.
According to him, multiple campuses of a university promote increase carrying capacity for the institution, improve revenue and eventually facilitate development of the host communities.
Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Okugbule, said the institution is overwhelmed with the level of support received from Governor Wike, which has helped them to improve their teaching and research capacities.
He stated that forty years after the university was established, Governor Wike has been able to actualise the dream of the founding fathers that the institution to have multiple campuses spread across the State.
“It will be recalled that at the inception of the university in 1980, it was intended to have campuses in several parts of the state. The aim was to use the various campuses to promote the development of all parts of Rivers state. After over forty years that vision has now been actualised by our courageous, bold and dynamic governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.”
Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, lauded the governor for taking the bold step to actualise the dreams of the founders of the State university.
The Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Hon. Justice Iche Ndu, commended Governor Wike for releasing money for the establishment of the campus and transferring the right of the land from Government Secondary school Emohua to the Rivers State University.
The director of physical planning, Rivers State University, Ben Woke, said the governor has given approval for the construction and furnishing of hostel blocks, administrative building that will have about 48 offices, 21 lecture halls and theatres in campus.
Others are, the construction and furnishing of a mini shopping centre, one health centre, a maintenance building, a guest house, construction of internal roads, connection of the campus to national grid, provision of street light.
Bandits Chase Residents Out Of Kaduna Village For Failing To Pay Tax
Residents of Kidandan community in Giwa Local Government area of Kaduna State were chased out of their ancestral homes in their hundreds over the weekend for failing to pay tax to bandits.
The bandits had raided their community for hours, shooting indiscriminately, resulting in the killing of many residents and abduction of many others.
Some survivors told reporters that the bandits, who had previously terrorized the community, increased their aggression after some farmers failed to pay the levies imposed on them.
The Kaduna State Police Command did not respond to the inquiries made about the incident, as the Command’s spokesman, ASP Mansur Hassan, promised to call our correspondent back but had not done so at press time.
A resident, who preferred anonymity, said: “For the past six days, bandits have been frequenting Kidandan. But this attack was particularly devastating. They instilled terror, stole belongings, and abducted our people.
“Every resident of Kidandan lives in extreme fear. Our women and children are leaving in large numbers. The sudden and unplanned exodus is striking. They seek safety, heading to Zaria and other seemingly secured areas to stay with friends and relatives.”
It was alleged that instead of a permanent security presence, patrols were the only form of occasional security in the community.
This, it was alleged, allowed the bandits to strike whenever they sensed the absence of security operatives.
The Kaduna Bombing Incident Will Not Be Swept Under The Carpet – Ribadu
The National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu has visited the Tudun Biri village of Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State to commiserate with the people over bombing incident.
While 85 persons were confirmed dead in the strike and scores were injured in the most recent military mishap, Ribadu and the lawmakers are commending the commitment of security agencies to reducing the security challenges in the region.
The NSA who was in the village on a fact-finding mission, assured that the bombing incident will not be swept under the carpet. He promised that a holistic investigation would soon commence to avert the recurrence of such an incident.
“We are here to physically see and also talk directly to the people, victims, and families and make an assessment for the Federal Government. It is a tragedy and misfortune. But it has happened. What matters is: how we move forward, what we going to learn from here, and what exactly we need to do,” Ribadu added.
He commended Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State for his display of maturity and leadership in handling of the unfortunate incident, particularly in providing relief materials and other logistics to the victims.
Kaduna Bombing: Northern Lawyers Vow To Sue FG
Lawyers, under the auspices of the Concerned Northern Forum, have vowed to institute legal action against the Federal Government, demanding the payment of adequate compensation for the victims of Tudun Biri bombed by the military airstrikes in Kaduna State.
Recall that over 120 villagers were killed while celebrating Maulud last Sunday night.
Speaking for the Northern Lawyers Forum, Barrister Nafi’u Abubakar, noted that the forum would ensure that the families that suffered irreparable loss as a result of this unfortunate incident get justice.
Nafi’u, while addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Saturday, urged the Federal Government to take immediate and decisive action to ensure a thorough and independent investigation into this incident.
“It is imperative that those responsible are held accountable for their actions, and measures are put in place to prevent any recurrence of such incidents in the future.
“We also urge the Nigerian Army to reevaluate its rules of engagement and training procedures to prevent the loss of innocent lives during military operations. It is vital that the Nigerian Army, as a defender of the nation, exercises utmost caution to avoid any further instances of collateral damage and civilian casualties,” he said.
The forum, with over 600 members, extended their deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones during the tragic incident.
“We stand united with them in their grief and pledge our unwavering support in ensuring justice is served.
“The Concerned Northern Lawyers Forum will work tirelessly to pursue legal means to claim the compensation that is owed to the victims,” he said. Vanguard.
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