Alarm: Use of Edo State’s Money to finance APC Guber Campaign

Media Release: Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation Raises Alarm Over Use of State’s Fund For APC’s Candidate

The Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation has raised the alarm over huge disbursement of Edo State financial resources to continuing support of the campaign of the All Progressive Congress’ (APC) governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Media Unit of the campaign organisation, it said the draining of the state’s fund by Governor Adams Oshiomhole for promotion of his puppet’s candidate for September 10 governor election is coming at a time when many local government council are being owned 15 to 17 month salaries.

The organisation said it is more alarmed as a result of billions of naira the governor disbursed on Wednesday to the APC’s structures in all 18 local government areas for procurement of people and supporters to the kick-off of APC’s governorship campaign on Saturday.

According to the statement, ‘’We have received a solid evidence on Thursday that Governor Oshiomhole at a stakeholders’ meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Benin City, Wednesday, disbursed billions of Edo State’s fund to all APC leaders in 18 local government areas for procurement of people to attend the APC campaign rally on Saturday.

‘’We are worried because Edo State’s fund is being uncontrollably disburse for promotion of APC’s candidate at a time Adams Oshiomhole is saying there is no money to pay local government council’s workers’ salaries for months.’’

Requesting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies to investigate the use of Edo State’s fund to promote a private candidate in the coming election, the Pastor Ize-Iyamu campaign organisation said that Oshiomhole has to resort to this panicky and sacred measures because of the swelling opposition the APC and the governor are receiving from all nooks of the state.

‘’It is shocking that at time Oshiomhole is recklessly wasting the state fund for promotion of Godwin Obaseki’s governorship ambition, our people are languishing in abject poverty, the basic social and health amenities are not available in our local government areas. This is a crime against the people, God and all humankinds’’, the statement added.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, reiterated his promise to provide a system whereby sick patients can be transferred to secondary and tertiary healthcare systems —- provision of ambulances and motorboat ambulances especially for those in the riverine communities and effective prevention and control of locally endemic and epidemic diseases in all local government in the state, if elected.

The statement added: Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will provide appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries; and provision of essential drugs. Provide an enabling environment and strategies to include community mobilization and advocacy, service integration, health research, capacity building, and international and non-governmental collaboration.

‘’He will encourage important stakeholders —- NGOs, development partners, civil society, private sector, communities and International Partners) to provide free health programmes and services, and provide opportunity for community members to channel their inputs into the planning, implementation and evaluation processes.

‘’The PDP has observed poor investment in Edo health emergency and accident responses and Pastor Ize-Iyamu, if elected will will turnaround Edo State Ambulance Service to ensure it is more functional and effective. We shall provide continuous professional developmental training and set a minimum response time of one hour to health emergency and accidents within our major cities and towns. This would be vigorously monitored to ensure compliance.’’

Signed
Media Unit
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Orginastion
Benin-City
July 14, 2016

Edo North Senatorial Rally flagged off in Auchi with Overwhelming Support

Yesterday, we were at the Ikelebe Sports Complex at Auchi for our Edo North Senatorial flag off. We couldn’t have asked for more from our people from Edo North. We were overwhelmed by the huge show of support we received. There is no reason for the region to be where it is economically as the region is blessed with both human and natural resources.

We will bring the world to our people by developing the tourism potentials in the region. Sites like the Kukuruku Hills, Ososo Water Falls, Igodo Caves,etc. will be developed and marketed with international best practices. We will industrialise the region and make agriculture more attractive.

Education will also receive priority attention as we must raise the leaders of today and not tomorrow because the future is now. in view of this, we shall revive Imodu College of Physical Education, build Technical Colleges as well as Skills and Vocational Training in order to help us meet with the growing demands of technical education and skill acquisition.

We will also ensure urban-rural integration by constructing roads to more rural communities so they can have access to the urban centres. These constructions will also help our farmers and traders for easy movement of their goods to urban markets. We will also provide housing for our people. We will develop new urban towns with modern houses to accommodate the growing population. This is a region blessed with great potentials and we can’t be left out. ‪#‎TheFutureIsNow‬, Take it.

ize-iyamu Ize-Iyamu2

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Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s One question: What do you want?

Our Time Has Come

Great people of Edo State, I salute you. Today, together, we begin the journey which will take us through every community in Edo State, on the road to Osadebey House.  As I travel through your community, I will be interested in asking one question and one question only: What do you want?

For the last eight years in this State, the government has never asked the people any question. They believe they know what you want.  We must give the government back to the people in fulfillment of the dream by Abraham Lincoln when he declared at Gettysburg in the heat of the American Civil war, as brother killed brother—–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
As far away as we may be from the United States of America;
As far back as 1863 when Abraham Lincoln spoke those words;
he was speaking to a day such as this—
when a little boy born in Benin City;
who went to Primary School in Benin City;
who went to Secondary school in Benin City;
who went to University in Benin City;
who worked in Benin City—–would grow up to aspire to lead his people with hope, with courage, with vision and with a plan.
My plan is simple. It is called the S I M P L E agenda.

S—– Social Welfare and Security
We cannot expect to build a safe and secure State when we have not taken steps to create jobs for our young men and women. In the past eight years, all the Industries that used to provide jobs for our young men and women have been shut down by an insensitive government. Where is Edo Line? Where is Bendel Breweries? Where is Bendel Insurance? Where is Urhonigbe Rubber Factory? Where is Uromi Fertilizer Plant? Where is Ehor Fruit Juice Factory?

I believe and strongly so —-that Government must first take care of its responsibility toward the people before it can have the moral right to ask the people to take care of their responsibility toward the government.
To this end, I hereby declare that we will review the excessive multiple taxation burden in this State and in consultation with the people, evolve a simple tax structure.

I am prepared from day one to work assiduously toward increasing your opportunities to be skilled, to be equipped and to be empowered with a small business loan in your community to give you the power, ready to prosper doing an honest day’s work.
There is hunger in the land.
There is chronic unemployment in the land.
There is poverty in the land.

When there is poverty in the land, our women bear the brunt. We must reverse this situation. All 192 wards in the State will have a Social Welfare Officer whose job it will be, to be the first point of contact on issues of Maternal mortality, Infant mortality and balanced Child nutrition up till age 5. They will visit you in your homes to ask you how the government can help you.

I—— Infrastructure
First, we must resolve to build the infrastructure of the mind and soul where brother cares for brother and sister cares for sister and we all care for our senior citizens. We cannot allow our senior citizens retire into penury.
On education infrastructure, first, we must train our teachers to be the best that they can be and then we must change the way we reward them so that they can change the way they teach. We must equip every school with a computer laboratory to enable our children function and compete with their counterparts across the world. Every Edo Student in tertiary institutions will be entitled to Bursary award.

On road construction, we plan to evolve a system that makes our six dry months work for us like 12 months by introducing double shifts in road construction contracts.
On health infrastructure, we plan to build a healthcare system that is second to none in Nigeria.

A statistic of 17% maternal and infant mortality is unacceptable and must be reversed. We will build well equipped Primary Health Care centers in every local government across the State to bring healthcare to the doorsteps of our beautiful mothers, wives and daughters. It is estimated that two out of every 25 women will die of breast cancer disease every year in Edo State. Awareness is the key and catching it early makes it possible to get a cure. We must build cancer screening centers in every market across the State for early detection. We must protect our women.

M—-Manpower development and Training
We will equip the Edo youth to be the most productive youth in Nigeria. A society that trains its youth is a society that plans to succeed. Changes will be made to our educational curriculum such that every child would pick four different skills to learn from JSS1-JSS3. They would then be required to specialize in one skill from SS1 to SS3. When that child is ready to graduate from secondary school, they will have a WAEC certificate in one hand and a Trade Diploma in the other hand.

For adult men and women who are unemployed and poor, we would provide them a way out of poverty. Every Local government will operate a skills Acquisition program on one hand and a Food program to go along with it. It is cheaper to train people and guide them out of poverty than to buy guns and build prisons. When people see a pathway out of poverty, they are not likely to resort to crime.

P—–Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
To the business community, I say, you do not have a better friend. I plan to engage the private sector in the revitalization of all neglected industries in Edo State and in the establishment of new ones. We intend to build Industrial Clusters in each of the three Senatorial zones with ready to go Certificate of Occupancy and a Five year tax holiday. Let the word go forth therefore to the four winds of Nigeria, North, South, East and West and beyond the shores of our great country—-that Edo State is open and ready for business.

L—–Leadership by example
We plan to lead from the front. We will first do before we ask you to do.

E—-Employment Creation and Empowerment Scheme
There is no better, faster way to create employment than through agriculture. We plan to build Agricultural Settlements in all three Senatorial zones and bring back Commodity Marketing Boards to buy produce from farmers. We plan to put 500,000 hectares under cultivation in the first four years which will be allocated to 100,000 young farmers who will employ up to 10 people per hectare to address the scourge of unemployment, hunger and poverty in the land.

In addition, we would establish Microfinance companies in every local government to help empower small and medium scale business people.

I stand here today to represent you. Your dreams and aspirations are not vain. You have suffered enough. Dry your tears. Help is on the way. Edo State is rich in mineral and agricultural resources.
Edo North for example is one of the richest Senatorial districts in terms of mineral deposits in the country with 18 known deposits including Gold, Marble, Limestone, Phosphate, etc

Edo State ought to be a land of plenty. You have the power to change the rules of the game on September 10th 2016. You have the power to change the change.

We have a daily cycle in which we struggle to make a living but we have a four year cycle to change our leaders if we do not like the direction in which they are leading us.

This is our chance. You must seize the moment. God bless you. God bless Edo State and may God bless Nigeria.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu Reconciles Warring Communities in Akoko-Edo

PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on Thursday, paid a solidarity visit to two warring, Bekuma and Ekpedo, communities in Akoko-Edo where lives and properties have been lost since March 30th 2016.

The two communities were involved in land related communal crises over the years which ended up in court and ultimately led to communal crisis because of suspicion by the Ekpedo community that the neigbouring Bekuma community had killed an Ekpedo man in the farm.

In spontaneous reaction, suspected arsonists from the Ekpedo community descended on the Bekuma community burning down several properties including the palace of the traditional ruler of Bekuma. The residents of Bekuma fled their homes to the bushes and neighboring communities and many of them are still apprehensive of returning to their community for fear of further reprisal.

While the battle raged, the Edo state governor has not yet visited the community leaving many people in the community to wonder if their lives mattered to government.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, accompanied by the Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, visited both communities Thursday. He visited the Otaru of Igarra as well as the traditional rulers of Bekuma and Ekpedo and listened to them as they narrated their versions of the story.

Addressing them, separately, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu appealed for peace to return to the communities explaining that only when peace is allowed to come that development can follow in the communities.

He admonished the communities to recognize that they are both neighbors who have lived peacefully together for centuries and that they should embrace peace and forgiveness and forge a better future, explaining that although death and destruction are painful, often irreversible damages that each of the communities have suffered, people should learn to forgive each other and fashion out ways to preventing the painful past.

He donated monies to each of the communities to assist them to buy relief materials and also paid compensation amount to the two families that lost their lives in the crisis.

During the separate meetings, both monarchs pledged to work together to restore peace to their communities, even though each of them expressed pain and anger over the death and destruction that this crisis had caused them.

Speaking at the event also, the Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, informed the crowd that gathered outside, that the PDP will bring better security and harmony among communities in Edo State. He enjoined the people to vote for a man who can feel their pains and he presented Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the flag bearer of the PDP and asked the people to vote for him to restore peace, prosperity and hope to their communities.

The Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation and the People’s Democratic Party Edo State has announced a change of venue for the flag off of the gubernatorial campaigns of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu following the decline by Edo State government of Adams Oshiomhole of the formerly proposed venue, the Ogbemudia Stadium.

UNIBEN Pubic Lecture: “State of Education in Edo: The Way Forward”

STATE OF EDUCATION IN EDO STATE: The Way Forward

PROTOCOLS

It is a great honour to stand before you once again to discuss the myriads of challenges that truncate our development as a people as well as proffer workable solutions to them. I want to express my profound gratitude to the organisers of this event, Total Support For Good Governance, for their desire to enthrone good governance in the state. It is indeed encouraging to see young minds like you putting your brains to work in a society where value for hard work and reward for merit has taken a backseat. You have chosen a topic that is very dear to my heart “State of Education in Edo State: The Way Forward”. To put the state of education in a proper perspective, it may be necessary to go on a historical excursion to the past; what was and what is, today.

From time inmemorial, education was regarded as the single largest industry in Edo State, dating back to the First Republic when even local government authorities were competing amongst themselves to award scholarships and bursaries to their indigenes. Government had an integrated, holistic and systematic approach to education. The primary schools which is the foundation of all educational programmes, was well grounded with adequate funding, staffing, infrastructure, and motivation to learn. The Secondary school education followed, including teacher training colleges at Abudu, Uzairue, and Abraka, etc. Many of the secondary schools were of international standard with unparalleled reputation for academic excellence; e.g Edo College, Benin City, Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin City; Annuciation Catholic Church (ACC), Irrua, Government College, Ughelli, Federal Government College, Warri, Our Lady of Fatima College, Auchi, Eghosa Grammar School, Benin City, Holy Trinity Grammar School, Sabongidda-Ora and a host of others too numerous to mention here.

As result of this sound, all-round and well grounded educational background, Midwest region and later Bendel State maintained, an unprecedented dominance in public service as well as in the corporate world in Nigeria and globally. From pre-Independence era till very recently, most of the super permanent secretaries of the Gowonian era were Midwesterners, including people like Allison Ayida.

The military and para-military forces were no exception. It is noteworthy that in that era, government placed a well-deserved emphasis on every item of the Education Matrix. – teachers, facilities, infrastructure, students, and teachers were well-trained, respected and motivated by government. Schools were staffed by adequate number of teachers, qualitatively and quantitatively. The school environment was conducive for learning and necessary facilities were provided. Above all, students had motivation to learn because of the reward and recognition system of scholarship, bursaries and even loans.

During that era also, the Benin Native Authority, as Local Government Councils were then called, promoted a massive scholarship scheme that saw to the education of every willing and qualified Benin son and daughter to the highest educational level. Our parents and grand parents who did us proud in the public services, the corporate world as well as other services in the country and outside were beneficiaries of that scheme. This feat was achieved by the council through the prudent management of forest resources as well as investment in rubber plantations and export of same. I am proud to mention that my father Chief Robert Osayande Ize-Iyamu of blessed memory was secretary of Benin Divisional Council and scholarship was given to many Benin indigene to study various discipline abroad.

This period can rightly be called the golden era of Education in the state because the period epitomised what a good educational system should be. It is no wonder that the products of that educational system dominated the public services, political, academic, corporate, legal, medical, military and paramilitary landscape of Nigeria for a very long time.

The Ogbemudia military administration of 1967 – 1975 was surprisingly another golden era for educational development in the state (now Edo and Delta).That no one can forget in a hurry. The policy thrust of that administration was meritocracy: teachers were appointed and given training opportunities to the highest level purely on merit and various scholarships and bursary schemes as well as students loan schemes were institutionalized. That was made so transparent, effective and efficient that no brilliant student of Edo origin was allowed to miss the opportunity to go to school. This opportunity was for both secondary and tertiary institutions.

In terms of infrastructure, the Ogbemudia Administration set a record that has not be been surpassed by any other since most of the modern secondary schools were built and equipped then. Sporting activities were at the zenith, so much so that Midwest Region (Bendel State) was always at the top of the medal table on nearly every sporting competition. The Afuze Games Village was developed to international standard to complement Ogbe Stadium. Most secondary schools had standard sporting facilities and students were busy with their academics or having fun with recreational activities, leaving no single minute for crime, cultism or both.

The University of Benin was established then by the Ogbemudia Administration as Midwest Institute of Technology. Abraka College of Education was also established and Auchi Polytechnic upgraded to Higher National Diploma (HND) awarding institution. The teachers and students were motivated while teachers were willing and happy to teach the students who were also eager to learn.

The Ambrose Alli Administration can be best described as the era of explosion of educational opportunities, bringing secondary school education to the door step of every Edo indigene or citizen with the massive establishment of over 300 secondary schools. Teachers were recruited and trained, secondary school leavers were encouraged to go to teachers training colleges on in-service training, etc. Market women abandoned the markets to go to school because not only was education free, students were also receiving bursaries or scholarships. The teachers were well-motivated and recognised, culminating in the historical appointment of teachers as Permanent Secretaries, Mr. A, Etchie’s appointment as a Permanent Secretary from the classroom was an example. This was a moral booster to teachers who now saw themselves as “primus inter pares” (First among equals), with civil servants, unlike in the past when they felt inferior as under dogs.

Several Colleges of Education were established simultaneously at Iyaro (now Ekiadolor) Igueben, Agbor and Warri to train middle-level manpower for the educational system, especially the secondary schools that had exploded exponentially by over 800%.

The establishment of the Bendel State University now Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, was a remarkable watershed in the educational system of, not only the state but Nigeria generally because this was the first state-owned university in Nigeria. Alli’s administration used the establishment of the university to correct the injustice melted out to Bendel indigenes who were always denied admission into federal universities in spite of their meritorious performance because of the quota system whereby persons from educationally disadvantaged States got preferentially admitted into federal universities. There were no private universities then. The Ambrose Alli era can best be described as very outstanding in terms of educational development.

The Igbinedion Administration took off after series of military administrations or “interregnum” and the educational system of Edo state was brought down to its kneels, culminating in the de-accreditation of several courses in the Ambrose Alli University and promotion of cultism and other anti-social behaviours in the secondary and tertiary, institution. Examination malpractices were rampart while private schools were springing up like mushrooms to catch on the apparent failure of the educational system.

The Igbinedion Administration responded with two key appointments: the appointment of Mr. Ebozoje, a seasoned educationist and retired Principal of a secondary school, as well as Rev. Father Uwaifo, as the Chairman, Governing Council of Ambrose Alli University. These two key appointments helped, in no small measure, in repositioning education in Edo State.

Under the able, seasoned and pragmatic leadership of late Rev. Father Uwaifo AAU was transformed to a first-class university, comparable to any federal university in Nigeria. This was reflected in the dramatic upsurge in the preference of students for AAU over so many other Nigerian universities, a situation that was completely opposite to what it was before the Rev. Father Uwaifo’s touch.

Qualified international scholars were attracted to the university, ultra-modern lecture theatres and classrooms, laboratories, engineering workshops, libraries were built, furnished and equipped. Academic courses in AAU earlier de-accredited, were now accredited and the university turned to a respectable and responsible citadel of learning and the envy of all other state-owned universities in Nigeria. The foregoing was not only the magic wand but the speedy approval for the commencement of payment of the University Staff Salary structure (USS) to AAU staff by the Igbinedion Administration. It was a tonic and the motivational impact was unimaginable, especially as most state universities could not do same. Cultism, and other social vices that had bedeviled the university were curbed and national and international glory and recognition were restored to the university.

The appointment of Mr. Ebosoje as Commissioner of Education brought sanity to the educational system then. Over 3000 qualified graduate teachers were employed, trained and retained. I make bold to say here that a bulk of all the teachers in the state today were recruited then as no significant recruitment of teachers has taken place again. After that, examination malpractices were curbed and reduced to the barest minimum, because classrooms had teachers and teaching facilities.

The establishment of model secondary school with full-boarding facilities at Evboneka, Fugar, Uromi and Ubiaja by the Igbinedion Administration was, as the name implies, to serve as a model to other public as well as private secondary schools. Till today, these schools are still the pride of Edo State, in terms of academic excellence. The School of Agriculture was revamped and modernised to compare with its peers anywhere in Nigeria.

Edo State Institute of Technology Usen was established to encourage technical education and absorb our teeming youths who could not get admission to the university, due to the pressure on university admission in Nigeria.

There is no doubt that educational development was at its apogee during the Igbinedion era, especially in terms of policy direction, availability of qualified teachers, availability of teaching facilities, as well as favourable condition of service or ambient environment for teachers, some of whom got two-three promotions after being stagnated on one salary grade level for decades. The motivation of the teachers directly correlated with improved academic performance of students that was the hallmark of that era.

The Oshiomhole Administration’s effort on education has been centred largely, if not exclusively, on reroofing some selected urban and sub-urban schools for political sloganeering and propaganda. The aluminum “red roofs” for these schools is not bad but it is good to put the effort into a correct trajectory in the sense that it is State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) money and a joint effort of the federal and the state governments where the former pays the lion share of the money.

The question is, is building or roofing the only component of educational development? How about adequate number of teachers, facilities, the environment, security, motivation to learn?

Recently an Old boy of Our Lady of Fatima College, Auchi (OLOFOBA) reported that the school now has 3(no) teachers who are all arts teachers. In this modern era of science and technology, the students of that school cannot key into most respectable professions that is if they can have a successful secondary school educational career. What is happening in Our Lady of Fatima College is a metaphor for what is happening in the entire state because nearly all the schools have no teachers in adequate number and specialisation. Some schools have a principal and no supporting teachers and some have all youth corpers. In some cases, the communities tax themselves to employ teachers for their children and wards. Apart from the fact that the so-called red roof is cosmetic, because insignificant numbers of schools are so roofed and there is no new construction, the classrooms are not equipped with desks and chairs. They carry chairs from one school to the other anytime they want to commission a newly-re-roofed school. This is not to say the governor did not make provision for chairs, he did make provision but decided to monopolise the contract by giving it to a single contactor in Abuja to supply furniture for all the schools in the state. What happened thereafter is unimaginable. While the company made the furniture, they did not supply them as they claim supply was not part of the contract agreement. When it was eventually supplied, it was cramped in some warehouses in town with leaking roofs. By the time they were ready to move the chairs, they realised that the chairs have all been destroyed by rain. What is even more painful was how it was kept secret from the public even as our children continued to sit on bare floors. These children deserve better and should not suffer for the government’s callous disregard for human lives and obsession for material acquisition. What is glaring to all Edo people is that the red roof was a fraud designed to deceive our people and hoodwink them into believing that Government was out to radically revolutionalise the educational system of the state. The scales have fallen out of the eyes of the citizens and they now see clearly that no teacher have been employed since November 12, 2008 when His Excellency, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was sworn in as the Governor of Edo State. Whereas states like Delta, Lagos, Kano, Ondo, Ekiti etc. have an average teaching staff complement of up to 10,000, Edo State has a paltry 3,000 or so, and yet no single recruitment was done while billions of naira were and are wasted in irregularly and exorbitantly-awarded contracts to renovate schools, a euphemism of giving patronages to the boys.

Recently, the Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, announced that he has earmarked N3bn for the award of contracts to renovate and build classrooms in each of the 192 political wards in the state. What is more needful is not more classrooms but to address the gross shortage of teachers in the state. The governor’s political slogan of “one man one vote” appears to have affected schools in the rural areas, as it has become one school one teacher. Igbode Junior Secondary School, Erhurun in Akoko where has JSS1, 2, 3 has only one teacher. The secondary school has one principal and one teacher. Ikakumo Grammer School, Ikakumo, has one Principal and one teacher. Ikiran-Ile Secondary School, has one Principal and one teacher. Ugboshi Secondary School also in Akoko Edo has one Principal and one teacher. Urhonigbe Grammar School (JSS) in Orhionmwon, also has one Principal and one teacher. Ekpon Grammar School in Igueben, both Junior and Secondary has one principal and one teacher. The list is endless.

 

The Edo State Post Primary Education Board in 2011 attempted to recruit 500 teachers in all the disciplines to augment the shortfall in the service but the government truncated this exercise and till date nothing has been done. Even the more recent teachers’ recruitment exercise headed by Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor is yet to materialise. While urban local government council areas like Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba-Okha are complaining of excess teachers in their schools, the rural schools are abandoned and the children left to their fate. At a time when the state government should have been thinking of how to motivate teachers and organise training courses for them, they chose to humiliate them by insisting on competency test for all of them.

 

The motivation of teaching staff is zero. Besides, being owed salaries and allowances for months and denied promotions, the administration has an unusual penchant for ridiculing teachers. The examination planned to test teachers’ ability by extraneous sources, was shelved at the last minute when the Governor suddenly remembered the consequences of the political backlash of the plan. Teachers are sacked and demoted like casual workers without due regard to extant rule by the Governor. The case of Mrs. Lizzy Omogberale, the former Principal of Imaguero College, Benin City is a sad reminder of this persecution and humiliation of our teachers who are expected to teach our children under this condition. Are we not expecting too much if we think that the teachers can give their best in this state of humiliation?

The will and motivation of the student to learn will ebb under the aforementioned scenario coupled with the fact that the students themselves are not even encouraged by government to seek excellence: there are neither bursaries nor scholarships. Either or both can be used to encourage students to work hard and achieve academic excellence. Is it not paradoxical that the Benin Native Authority in the colonial era saw the need to give scholarships and she did, yet in modern time, 2008 – 2016, a government does not see the need to give bursary and scholarship and it gave none for 8 years of its administration? Is it not also an antithesis that a state government will deliberately kill state higher institutions to develop others because of personal ego and clannish interest? While AAU, Usen Polytechnic, and College of Education Ekiadolor now called Tayo Akpata University of Education are grossly underfunded and totally neglected, a new Edo University at Iyamo a chimera that is said to be neither fully-private nor fully-public, is gulping all the money allegedly in the realms of several tens of billions of naira? Is it not obvious that the Adams Oshiomhole regime is not interested in the educational development of Edo State but material acquisition? How can one explain the construction of 168-room male hostel accommodations with a whooping sum of N1, 880, 483, 836.66 billion? If you do a very thorough calculation, you will realise that the state government spent over N10miilion to build one hostel room. It is unthinkable that an administration will be in place for eight year, yet no single teacher is employed in the face of gross shortages, but tax payers money are been expended on unnecessary ventures. To worsen the situation, the few existing ones are being harassed, intimidated, and denied their promotions and incentives etc. You will recall vividly that an entire Civil Service Commission was sacrilegiously disbanded because the Chairman (Dr) (Mrs) J. Afe, maintained her stand that teachers should not be sacked without due process.

 

 

The Way Forward

Education is certainly the bedrock of any development and every society is as developed as its educational programme. The difference between the developed and undeveloped countries is no other than education.

Any reasonable and people-centered government should as matter of dire necessity, put educational development as priority number one.

The programme on education under our stewardship will ensure that no Edo child is left behind. Edo State Government under our leadership will provide free and compulsory education from primary school up to the end of junior secondary school. The Edo State education programme will be driven by a determination to train Edo people to be skilled and competitive both nationally and globally through the adoption of the use of modern pedagogical methods including ICT and multi-media platforms. To this end, we will be biased towards science and technology, with particular emphasis on those courses that enable our youth to obtain technological skills that will enhance the development of the state.

We will aim at partnering with major technology vendors to promote skills acquisition in core technology areas in all the institutions of higher learning in the state. By this, we hope to be able to append a sizeable number of our youths in the global job marketplace, whereby our people will be able to work even from their homes for major technology providers.

 

Our education policy will reflect the following objectives:

 

  • To train our youths in science, engineering, finance and commerce, entrepreneurship, management, information and communication technology that will lead the state’s drive for prosperity and economic development;
  • To make every citizen literate and able to communicate in our lingua franca as well as in their mother tongue.
  • To go beyond cosmetic painting of classroom blocks and ensure adequate provision of chairs and tables and relevant learning materials in both primary and secondary schools, as well as encouraging sports, library developments and modern toilet facilities.
  • To motivate teachers through proper remuneration, prompt payment of salaries and emoluments and continued training and re-training.
  • To vigorously pursue the re-introduction of boarding facilities in public secondary schools across the state, as this will inculcate leadership qualities in the youths.
  • To encourage the interest of students in science and technology education and reward outstanding students with full scholarship.
  • To ensure the availability of science laboratories in all Senior Secondary Schools and Art and Crafts workshops in Junior Secondary Schools.
  • To support teachers in their quest to up-grade themselves to ensure high standards in the education sector.
  • To emphasise Technical and Vocational Training so as to improve on the skills and entrepreneurial development of school leavers. Appropriate incentives will be offered to attract students to technical and vocational training to discourage over-dependence on tertiary education.
  • To re-activate and provide modern facilities, equipment and teaching aids to all existing Technical Schools in the state.
  • Improve on the Technical Training Centres; integrated with skill acquisition, cottage agro-processing and other related small-scale production outfits in each of the senatorial districts for the training of the relevant technical and skilled manpower, to drive all aspects of our economic policies.
  • To make ICT and entrepreneurship compulsory components of our policy at all levels of the educational system
  • To provide all government secondary schools with computer laboratories.
  • To make it mandatory for all MDAs to embrace e-governance as a way of managing government information.
  • We shall create an education and business partnership framework to give students opportunity to develop the skills and qualities needed for work, through compulsory four-week work experience placement in their last year of SS3.
  • From JSS 1, every child would be exposed to skills acquisition as part of the school system. They would pick four different skills from a wide range of skills ranging from carpentry to catering to Digital skills to Fashion Designing, Music, Healthcare, Tiling, Painting, etc. From SSI, they would then be required to pick only one and specialise. By the time the child is graduating from SS3 that child would have a DIPLOMA in one skill set and a WAEC certificate on the other hand and they would be ready for a future of productivity. The DIPLOMA would be the collateral to obtaining a small business loan to get started in life as a professional or to be a viable human being, able to fend for themselves even if they choose not to go on to a university
  • We are committed to raising education standards and achievements in schools through a rigorous quality inspection, monitoring and support regime.
  • We will also encourage the involvement of parents in the management of schools and their children’s development through upgrading of the Parents Teachers Associations across all schools in Edo State
  • These policies would enable the creation of 5000 sustainable new jobs in the economy

 

Higher and Professional Education

 

The basic objective of higher and professional education is to improve the capability of young people to identify, formulate and handle scientifically complex problems as well as to critically evaluate information and to formulate possible solutions. It also provides leadership and management manpower for the growth and development of the country. Therefore, we shall ensure total overhaul of the existing state tertiary institutions, increase their subvention, improve their personnel and upgrade their infrastructure and facilities.

 

Bursary

No Edo child shall be denied access to education either at secondary or tertiary level on the grounds of inability to pay tuition fees. Therefore, we shall embark on a comprehensive census of Edo undergraduates in all higher institutions across the country with a view to determining a reasonable, realistic and sustainable annual bursary award to them, to promote their educational attainment.

 

  • Our government will run an inclusive educational system and prioritise the provision of tailored education and learning to people with special needs, physical and mental challenges, in order to ensure equality of access and opportunities in life for all regardless of their circumstances.

 

In-Service Training                                          

  • We are committed to human capital development and making sure public and private sector workers are able to respond effectively to challenges of our digital age. Our government will invest in ICT skills training and capacity up-skilling of all government staff to the International Computer Driving License Standards (ICDLS). This would ensure all government workers are proficient in critical computer application software packages including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Publisher. Our government would actively encourage private sector businesses and educational institutions to likewise invest in up-skilling their staff ICT skills and capacity, which will enable them to maximise accrued advantages from the digital age.

 

  • Our government will encourage applied industrial development and cutting-edge technology research. We will encourage industries to take active interest in funding applied research aimed at improving the competitiveness and sustainability of Edo industries through building partnerships with our tertiary institutions

 

CONCLUSION

We have made an attempt to review the educational development of Edo State since the pre-independent era, from one administration to the other. Most of the administrations did their best and will be judged and remembered by history accordingly.

 

While the pre-colonial administration, including the Benin Native Authority, will be remembered for its focus on identifying and developing talents through the award of scholarships and bursaries, the Ogbemudia years were remarkable for the building of new institutions and training of teachers.

Professor Ambrose Alli era on the other hand, will not be forgotten in a hurry for his mass educational programmes that brought education to the door steps of all and sundry in the nook and cranny of Edo State while the Lucky Igbinedion years will certainly be remembered for the development of the resource capacity of teachers and motivating them by the provision of ambient environment to operate.

 

Of course, the “red roof revolution” of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will be remembered, after all, the roofs are red and flashy but the impact of lack of teachers and their humiliation and intimidation will haunt the state for a long time to come.

 

Necessarily, any good government will take an eclectic position and consolidate the achievements of the past and make some correction, where necessary but must be innovative and make the teacher and student the centerpiece of his or her administration. We have a great opportunity to make our education work for the good of all and the time is now; #TheFutureIsNow, Take it.

EDO PDP Primary Victory Speech: “The Choice Is Here”

Fellow Edos, at home and in the diaspora, it is with a great sense of history, conscious of the responsibility of leadership toward our people, that I extend my gratitude to all who have participated in this historic primaries which presents us an opportunity to change the destiny of our people for good for all time.

I hereby extend a hand of fellowship to my fellow contestants and I call for party unity. Beyond our personal quests, the yearning of our people for great governance must tower above everything else. We are stronger when we unite.

I salute all the elders of our party and all the party officials who have worked tirelessly to make the primaries a successful event.

Today, I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, our forebears who went through great challenges to establish us as a people, spreading the fame of the Benin Empire all the way through Yoruba land, Cotonou, Togo and to present day Southern Ghana.

That is a heritage of which all of us should be very proud, and one, any person, aspiring to office in this land should be very aware of, and to accept as a challenge, that we cannot be less than those who came before us.

North, South or Central, Christian or Muslim, we the people of Edo State are one. We share a common heritage. We come from a long line of great Kings and great achievers, one of the most prominent of whom was King Ewuare the great (Ogidigan) Uku Akpolokpolo, one of the world’s most illustrious ancient Kings who during his reign, consolidated, developed and expanded the kingdom through innovative leadership ideas, closely knit, disciplined community organization, warfare and conquests.

In modern times, we have had equally illustrious leaders in Edo State from the days when it was known as the Midwestern region, then Bendel and now Edo. I pay tribute to each and everyone on all sides of the political divide as they built, block upon block to get us where we are today.

With the experience I have gathered through the years, in government and from the private sector, I know how to fight for you and I am determined to fight for you.

I will fight to make sure we have the best trained, best equipped and best motivated teachers in the country; In order to do this, first we must revive our teacher training colleges.

I will fight to bring our children into the digital age. They must be able to compete with their mates around the world.

I will fight to ensure that we evolve the best Healthcare Industry in Nigeria and bring medical tourism to Edo State. Maternal mortality and infant mortality which currently stands at over 17% nationally is unacceptable and must be reversed.

We will give value to our Healthcare workers to make them the envy of the rest of Nigeria. I will fight to industrialize Edo State by revolutionizing Agriculture, which has the longest value chain to provide jobs for our teeming youth population. Focused attention on Agriculture is the cure to unemployment. We will create cluster farm settlements in all Senatorial zones across the state and establish commodity marketing boards to purchase all produce which will be channeled for further processing within the state to add value and create in the process, hundreds of thousands of jobs.

We must create jobs to reduce crime and I will be tough on crime. We will launch a –SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING (SSSS) campaign across the State to ensure that criminals find our state an unbearable place to do business.

I will fight to restore the dignity and pride of our young women. In partnership with NGOs in the State, country and across the world, we would ensure that the average Edo woman is as resourceful, efficient and productive as women in the most advanced countries.

I will fight to ensure that our senior citizens do not slide into poverty in retirement;

I will fight to ensure we run a government that is inclusive across religion and tribe.

Today, I ask for your support.

I have come to serve.

This election unlike many before now is happening in a time of extreme hardship as poverty stalks the land. The question you must ask now is this; which candidate has the best plans to help put food on the table by providing jobs for the people of Edo State? How do they plan to provide the jobs?

I have come to give you hope but I also have a plan. It is called the SIMPLE agenda. Please, TRUST ME. I am a farmer. We can grow enough food to feed our people in Edo State and send food to other parts of Nigeria. That is a promise I am committed to. TRUST ME.

Thank you. God bless all of you. God bless Edo State and may God bless Nigeria. #‎TheFutureisNow Take it.

#TakeTheFuture: Pastor Ize-Iyamu formally declares to run

The Time has come. The Future Is Now: Take it!

After seeking the face of God and engaging in extensive consultation across the length and breadth of Edo State, today the 9th day of June 2016, I in company of my friends, family and well wishers, shall proceed on a historic walk to the Edo State PDP Secretariat in Benin City to formally collect the nomination form of the Party to enable me contest the Edo State governorship election scheduled for 10th September 2016.

As we proceed on this journey, I am mindful of the huge challenges ahead of us. I am aware of the apprehension of our adversaries and their desperation to maintain the status quo in spite of the cloud of depression that they have cast over the land. The change slogan they chant haunts them and justifiably so even as it reminds us that power is truly transient. But we shall prevail.

As we begin this walk towards freedom, I am conscious of the agony and the silent cries of our long-suffering people who have been victims of the criminal neglect of our land despite abundant resources. I carry in my heart the affliction of a people that have been made to live under the hand of taskmasters. I am propelled to act, inspired by the hope and confidence that our people have freely reposed in my ability to change the change, reverse the retrogression, root out the rot and clean the messy stable so that Edo may truly experience the prosperity our people deserve and desire.

Today I make a solemn pledge of my commitment to give this noble enterprise my all, to do my best as could ever be expected of me, and sincerely with the fear of God to run a government in Edo State that will be transparent and accountable; a government that will put the interest of the entire State far and above personal interest. I am irrevocably committed to ensuring the judicious use of our resources for the progress and development of the State.

The journey to our envisioned destination may not be long, but I definitely know that it is not an easy road. No matter how rough and difficult the road may be, I have faith that with your prayers, wise counsel and sundry support, we shall overcome. Though we work through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us and will not let us down. He sees our heart and knows that we mean well. Therefore we shall not be afraid of the terror by night or the arrows that flieth by the day (PS 91:5). We go into this contest with the boldness and faith of David. No matter the size of the Goliath that the enemy confronts us with, in the name of our God the king of kings and the Lord of lords, we shall be victorious and the name of the Lord shall be glorified.

Upon collecting the nomination form and fulfilling all protocols, we shall proceed to the Emporium Event Centre in Benin City to unveil our agenda for governance to the good people of Edo State. We believe that there can be no better time than now to reveal our vision for a better Edo State. The bible declares that where there is no vision, the people perish. (Prov. 29:18). Therefore we shall present a working document of our plans and mission in government so that our people can understand our journey and appreciate our progress.

This document, which is our covenant, has been deliberately made simple so that those who read it can run with it. The “Simple”Agenda, as it is called, apart from being easy to understand, is an acronym for:

1. Security and Social welfare ………………………………S
2. Infrastructural Development ………………………………..I
3. Manpower development and training………………………M
4. Public Private Partnership……………………………………P
5. Leadership by example………………………………………L
6. Employment opportunities and Empowerment…………….E

This acronym, in a nutshell, underlines the focus of our government and what we hope to achieve in the course of our stewardship. We encourage you to read the details of the agenda by which content we shall be guided.

As the journey progresses, we shall keep you informed of all our activities and we enjoin you to be part of them. Our State cannot be left the way it is. We cannot continue in lamentation and suffering. Now is the time to change the unfortunate change. And the future they have always told us to wait for is not in another time; it is not in another election; it is now. This is what I represent and it is what I present to you; take it!

Edo North leaders endorse Ize-Iyamu for Governor

The leadership of Edo north senatorial district have today unanimously pledged their support for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in his bid to clinch the PDP gubernatorial ticket in the forthcoming PDP primaries of the party in Edo state.

Speaking today, Thursday, at 11.30am, in the presence of hundreds of party supporters, residents and journalists, at Afuze, former and present political office holders, unanimously pledged mass and class support for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu at a normal courtesy visit that turned out to be a sort of endorsement event, where the word ‘endorsement’ was freely used by all the leaders in Edo north present.

Speaking on behalf of leaders of Edo north, leader of Edo north and former senator representing Edo north, Senator Yisa Braimoh, pledged the 100% support of the members and delegates of the Edo north senatorial district for the aspiration of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and assured that the delegates of the region have resolved to support and vote for Pastor at the forthcoming PDP primaries.

“I want to let you know for the records. I know that there are about 4 aspirants in the race. The bible said we should knock and the door shall be opened for you. One cannot open the door to anyone who does not knock at your door. As a senator none of the other aspirants has knocked at my door. The only one who has consistently knocked is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. And he is not an upstart politician. He is a successful lawyer, farmer and politician. To crown it up, he added God to it. This is why the whole leadership of Edo north PDP have therefore endorsed pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu for the governor of Edo state in 2016. Ize-Iyamu has been tried, tested and he is trusted. In addition to the three Ts, there are four ingredients needed in leadership; “Intelligence, energy, integrity and pedigree (what one has achieved in the past). I know very well that Our Excellency in waiting has all the said ingredients of leadership.” Senator Yisa Braimoh said.

 

 

All the other leaders of the Edo north senatorial district, with the exception of one who was giving his daughter out in marriage about the same time, took turns to endorse the statement of Senator Yisa Braimoh.

The Senatorial leader of the Edo north PDP endorsed the endorsement by Senator Yisa Braimoh of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

On his part, three times Commissioner in Edo state, Mr Ebozojie, said that he endorsed what their leader Yisa Braimoh had said and that he had nothing else to add.
“On behalf or Edo north, we are saying welcome. For your simplicity and modesty, the light has come and we are praying so that perpetual light through you shall return to Edo state. One unique thing about you is that your name is Osagie – God sent. All we need to do is to collaborate with you to lead us to the promised land. We wish you grace and goodluck.” Ebozojie said.
Mrs Osemojie, the PDP woman leader of Edo north, said “I don’t have much to say. Our father the senator has spoken and I don’t have anything to add.”
The youth leader also endorsed the words of the senator. And there were shoutsnand screams of “We have endorsed you!” by the youths who came in their large numbers.

Responding, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu thanked the people for their warm reception, eulogising also the persona of Senator Yisa Braimoh who he described as a senior brother. Pastor Ize-Iyamu pledged to continue with all projects that were started in Edo north by previous administrations and also to do even more when elected, especially in areas of agriculture, solid minerals and sports.

 

“Let me make a firm promise, I pledge before you and before God that when I become governor of Edo state, Edo north will witness greater developments than ever before. I see myself also as a son of Edo north and whatever have been done here by previous administration I will do more. Not much has been done in the two Owan local government areas, in Akoko Edo and in Etsako East local government areas. Even in Etsako Central, the development was restricted to a small community. Edo north has solid minerals everywhere. I am surprised that for eight years no industry of factory was established here. When we come on board, we shall develop and positively transform the whole of Edo state.” Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu said.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Mr Jaret Tenebe, a senior party man and opinion leader, thanked Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for his visit and wished him success at the polls.

Edo Isoko Development Union pledges support for Ize-Iyamu

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has urged the electorate in Edo state to vote en mass for the Party, in the September 10 gubernatorial election and avoid being apolitical.

Addressing the Edo state Chapter of the Isoko Development Union, IDU in his residence in Benin, Wednesday he encouraged people with voters cards to participate in the forthcoming election without hesitation noting that many who had voters cards in the past elections did not vote.

A government that comes into power through minority votes he pointed out did not augur well for democracy, which was often based on majority rule. “Less than 50% of registered voters in the last election actually voted while many who were duly registered with cards refused to come out of their homes to vote”, he said.

 

While urging the Edo state electorate to come out en mass to vote on September 10, he assured them that every one’s vote would count.

He assured Isoko people resident in Benin and all other tribes that his government, if voted into power would treat all equally without discrimination saying: “wherever you live in Nigeria with comfort and happiness is your home”.

 

He also called on those who have not registered or collected their permanent voters cards to do so as this was their own way of not only ensuring good government but also contributing to the growth and development of Nigeria’s nascent democracy.

Speaking on behalf of the Isoko Development Union Mr. Ephraim Akeni pledged the support and solidarity of the group to the PDP gubernatorial aspirant noting that they’VE done their survey before becoming to the startling conclusion the he would be the next governor of the state.

We shall secure the welfare of our children- Ize-Iyamu assures Edo Children

Children are the very first victims of misgovernance and inadequate implementation of government policies, a People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) governorship aspirant, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has observed.
Addressing a large crowd of children which visited him during the week in Benin as part of their activities to mark the Children’s day, the PDP front line aspirant in the September 10 governorship election, made the observation as part of his message to all Nigerian children as they celebrate ‘Children Day’ today.


He pointed out that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that the future of children was protected and secured through adequate welfare packages and encouragement of entrepreneurship for workers and jobless adults who were their parents and guardians.

“Any government, no matter the level of infrastructural development it undertakes, which fails to capture, through adequate policies, the welfare and growth of children to adulthood as the future leaders is doomed”, he said.
Ize-Iyamu noted that the provisions in the fundamental objectives and directive principles of states policies in the Nigerian constitution which specified goals to be met in achieving programmes which would go a long way in securing the welfare of children or under aged, regretted that the present Edo state government has done little or nothing in this direction.

He expressed deep disappointment that the Edo state government could not provide adequate clean and drinkable water for children let alone other desiderata. What the government failed to realized, he pointed out, was that Nigeria’s future rested on the school bench. ”All government policies should take adequate cognizance of the need to continue with vigor to provide for the welfare of the Nigerian child with affordable and qualitative education”.
Despite the harsh realities of the present Nigerian economy, he advised parents and guardians as the first custodians of children to instill moral discipline in them so that they could become useful members of the society.
Responding on behalf of the children, Mr Osaretin Iredia who described himself as a proprietor of a private school, said that they were optimistic that when Ize-Iyamu becomes governor children would in practical terms benefit from his campaign slogan: `the future is now`.