The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo State, has expressed dismayed over the closure of the state-owned College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, and the subsequent sack of its over 400 workforce by the Spstate government.
Recall that the Edo State government had last week handed out what some people called a democracy day gift of sorrow, following the closure of the school and the sack of all its academic and non academic staff.
But the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, in a statement on Sunday in Benin, said with the closure of the institution, the southern part of the state is now “facing an education holocaust.”
“Following the unlawful closure of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, on 8th August, 2017, by armed policemen on the orders of the Godwin Obaseki-led APC State Government, the body of academic and non-academic workers as well as students sued Edo State Government and others in Suit no NICN/BEN/08/2018 at the National Industrial Court, Akure.
“The case was adjourned to 7th June, 2018 for arguments on the claimants’ Motion for a Mandatory order to reopen the College pending the determination of the substantive suit before the court.
“In total contempt of the judiciary and in a clear case of Obstruction of Justice, Edo State Government went ahead to announce the termination of employment of all staff members of the institution. This ‘slap in the face’ of the judiciary must be condemned and resisted.”
The party expressed worry over what it said is “now becoming a pattern, a systematic denial of Edo state indigenes (especially in the Edo South zone) of educational facilities to develop and improve themselves and their skills.”
“First it was the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State. Governor Obaseki and his Handler, ex-gov Adams Oshiomhole, conspired to deceive and con Edo South leaders.
“They have not been able to explain to the people why Tayo Akpata University of Education Ekiadolor, proclaimed and signed into law same day as Adams Oshiomhole’s University in Iyamoh has not been approved by NUC even though it already had structures and staff in place but Iyamoh University has been built from scratch, accredited and admitting students and soon to graduate its first set.
“They then went after the State School of Nursing in Benin City: Closed! The Institute of Continuing Education, ICE, Benin City: Closed! And evidence abounds that the Polytechnic in Usen also in Edo South is their next target,” the party alleged.
It further alleged that since the APC government’s ascension to power in 2008, Edo State has suffered closure upon closure of private schools, sack of teachers, education instructors and providers, and what it called criminal increment of school fees and levies.
“The government has been insensitive to the plight of parents and guardians. The people were deliberately pauperized, put in a traumatized state so that they can be manipulated and their votes purchased on election days.
”Edo State government is toying with the future of the next generation of Edo people by denying them choice and not offering alternatives.
“It simply implies that the APC government in Edo state is satisfied with a populace not literate enough to question their mis-governance and fleecing of our commonwealth. This policy is fraught with grave danger and we demand an immediate reversal. Edo State deserves better,” PDP said.