By Eseoghene Emuke
The factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Professor Pat Utomi has lampooned Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration for paying lip service to quality education in the state.
Utomi stated this while reacting to the viral video of Success Adegor who was sent home over her parents’ inability to pay the second term examination levy which has taken the nation’s media space by storm.
He said with the huge revenue accruing to the state, Delta has no reason not to afford quality education for schoolchildren and other priorities including health and infrastructural development.
Utomi particularly said governance in Delta State has no shame, thus the level of underdevelopment in the state.
Read full statement below:
THE BATTLE LINE ISSUES
That all is not well with how Delta is governed has become clear with the Success Resistance video. That story of the little girl who bravely said no more, with a steely determination.
A little girl with gusto and sharp wit decided enough was enough. She had had it with the collapsed education situation in Delta state. She was ready to be flogged till she was blue rather than be scammed yet again by the Public school system in Delta State. A neighbor captured her moment of defiance with a phone. The power of her strength of character gave appeal to the video and it went viral.
You would expect shame to overcome the machinery of government in Delta for being incompetent to manage the school system as exposed by Success. But not the Delta government. They had become numb to shame or unable to understand the implication of the face off Success had come to symbolize.
Government officials instead, saw it as a Nollywood moment. As if it was one of those comedy skits filmed in Asaba, they began to fall over each other offering car gifts to the person who recorded Successes moment of rage.
What Success stands for today is like what Rosa Parks stood for in Alabama in 1955.
The then 42 year old African American woman refused to obey Alabama’s racist law requiring she stand up for a White person. Her resistance resulted in the Montgomery, Alabama, Bus boycotts that fired up the Civil Rights movement. America has not been the same since.
Deltans have a moral obligation to hoist up Success as a rallying icon to ask for accountability and a reordering of priorities in Delta state. Even if the state government is too blinded to shame to realize the meaning of the Success moment. If Rosa Parks captured the imagination of the global community, even as a Woman approaching middle age, the actions of 7 year old Success should do more and propel Deltans to cast off the yoke of bad government.
One of my favorite school mottos says that when wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. But when character is lost, all is lost. And I often add that Beyond character, when shame is lost, redemption is not possible. It would seem that shame has been lost in the extant governing team in Delta State.
Our duty and obligation as APC in Delta is to draw a line in the sand from where we wage battle for the people. Education is the front of the charge for us. We offer in the alternative a three year programme to have a modern building conducive to learning in every community in Delta state, an aggressive Teacher retraining initiative to raise teacher quality which is at the heart of learning and improved Compensation for teachers, with a School Inspection system to ensure no child is again exposed to the torture Success endured.
Beyond Education the APC alternative we represent, approaches the business of governing Delta with a health care reform that introduces simple technology that ensures access to all and adopts a rural health insurance scheme to ensure it is available and affordable to even the Peasant Farmer.
Delta gets more than enough revenues to do all this. To plug the leakages is to make these ideas feasible, Infrastructure tied to the powering of agriculture endowment value chains and a frontal assault on poverty through job creation, round up the top of our priorities.
We are driven in the zeal to transform Delta for the next generation, looking on to the Success factor for inspiration.
Patrick Okedinachi Utomi