Apr 14, 2008

Ogoni: Education Must Get More Federal Attention

Sample ImageDecades of neglect have eroded the potential of Ogoniland’s peoples – yet the government appears reluctant to intervene or help.

Below is an article published by the Tide Online:

The Ogoni Kingdom in Rivers State on Wednesday [9 April 2008] called for an urgent intervention by the Federal Government in the educational system in the area.

A delegation from the Ogoni Council of Traditional Rulers made the appeal during a courtesy visit to Education Minister, Igwe Aja-Nwachukwu in Abuja.

Dr Badom Badom who spoke on behalf of the Kingdom, said the intervention was necessary because of the current decay in the education system in the area.

“There is a general out cry for special capacity building in Ogoniland because even the so called teachers are not trained enough to meet the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),’’ Badom said.

He traced the problem to the Nigerian civil war which allegedly destroyed most education infrastructure in the area.

“Before the civil war, there were four Secondary Schools in Ogoniland, among others, but during the war they were bombed and destroyed to the Stone Age,” Badom said.

He said that even after the war, successive governments failed to pay attention to the rehabilitation of the schools, making the Ogoniland the most educationally backward in the state.

“Given the fact that the educational infrastructure in Ogoniland got destroyed during the war, literacy percentage of the area is the lowest in Rivers State and among the lowest in the country,” Badom said.

Responding, Aja-Nwachukwu thanked the delegation for the visit and promised to channel its request to the authorities.

He, however, said the request could not be granted by the ministry because it fell within the ambit of the State and Local Governments.

“The constitution provides that the Federal Government can only make laws and supervise the implementation by the states.

“We cannot intervene directly in areas which are under their control,” Aja- Nwachukwu said.