A political pressure group, ‘Ujache Igala’ has described the proposed decentralization of Kogi State University, Anyigba as a white elephant project, wondering how a state institution that is trying to find its feet can be decentralized.
In a communiqué issued after a stakeholders’ meeting in Lokoja, which was signed by the group’s National Chairman, Dr. Goodman Akwu and Secretary, Valentine Opaluwa, the group expressed disappointment that the university which was established by the late Prince Abubakar Audu in 1999, has suddenly lost its glory due to lack of commitment by governor Yahaya Bello led-administration.
The communiqué lamented that over 70% of lecturers have left the University for greener pastures, a situation it said, has reduced the citadel to a glorified secondary school, stressing that Bello deliberately starved the institution of funds because of his belief that it was dominated by the Igala people.
“What beclouded governor Bello’s mind before now was that KSU was dominated by Igala people and he naturally has disdain for funding the institutions. Over 70% lecturers have left and is very unfortunate that he is doing nothing to salvage the situation”, the communiqué said.
The statement further noted that education should be isolated from politics and ego trip, insisting that if both were mixed, it would destroy the future of younger generations.
The group counseled governor Bello to beware of foxes that destroy the vine, while noting that some of his policies were already dismembering the state along ethnic divides compared to when his predecessor was in office.
The group was emphatic that establishing two campuses as is being envisaged was against the time, while asking the governor to redirect the resources to other infrastructures in Central and West senatorial district, if that is what he wants to achieve by pacifying the two districts for the alleged marginalization in the past by Igala people.
“For alleged marginalization, he want to establish two campuses and we are saying he should channel the resources to other infrastructures for the two zones he wants to pacify because the state will not be able to fund those new campuses for now”, the group argued.
“Most of his policies are laced with ethnic colouration as if he is on a retaliatory mission. He is taking providence that brought him to power for granted”, it added.
According to the communiqué, Kogi State Polytechnic was existing before the University and if there must be decentralization of state academic institutions, it was due to be decentralized and which its campuses should be sited in the eastern senatorial flank.
“Kogi State Polytechnic was established in 1992 and if it behooves that there must be decentralization of state institutions, a campus should be established in the eastern senatorial flank”, the group maintained.
The group urged state Assembly not to be marooned into approving the request to avoid administrative cost, saying the state government should pay workers their salaries which it owed for ten months now.
” What we are saying is the state government should pay workers their salaries, despite the N20 billion Bailout fund, 95% of kogi workers have not been paid their salaries for over 10 months, and tje situation has resulted to deaths, hunger and starvation across the state,” the group maintained.