Gov Obaseki’s 3 Days School A Week And The Deaf Of His Conscience

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obseki

Gov Obaseki’s 3 Days School A Week And The Deaf Of His Conscience

Elempe Dele

I might be lost to what this was meant to achieve though except it was meant to showcase a primary school metaphorizing into a market junction, but to me, it is a part indictment of the gains we have been harassed with daily here if a school in the metropolitan part of the state can be like this, like others. When we say there are things better experienced being on ground, some argue that with technology, you can get news anywhere from the globe. Hell no, technology will not feed you with what it has not been fed with. It is a known garbage in garbage out…nothing can be more than personal experience, away from the Sieg Heil of ‘Go and Verify.’

My Alma Mata (primary school) was worse than this until the House of Rep member there intervened, like he has been doing to several. It was not more than a holding pen for animals – a harrowing sight to behold. This is the same with others across the state; from Etsako to Owan. In Owan, you will see Prof. Ihonvbare intervening, him coming from education sector before joining mainstream politics. So if these types of schools, with frightening infrastructural decay still liter the 4 corners of the state, as recently annunciated by Ogbemudia, who Decries Decay in Edo State Public Schools, I wonder what exactly are the gains of all the so much hyped policies in the sector. Can any policy be transformative without teachers in schools and infrastructures for learning? Now, we are jesting over 3 days at work even in schools…who will not laugh over the idea of virtual learning in Edo State? Someone clamoured ‘are you serious!?’

And this takes us back to the billions sunk into the contested and controversial optic fibres. In any third world, priorities are set because of dire situations and paucity of funds. That is why when you see foreign busybodies trying to intervene, they do so only in critical sectors. If in the past 8 years, the Edo State government has been taking genuine steps in addressing the key areas we are lacking; Education, Health, infrastructures like roads, bridges, drainages and possibly agriculture, there would have seen some semblance of leap. No, the government direct funds into impossible projects that are not and can never be top priority in a peripheral nation like Nigeria. Sea Port, Airport, Optic Fibre, Industrial Park…and a litany of ‘foreign idealized projects’ in a state where even the capital city is threatened perennially with flood and properties worth millions are cast away painfully.

Come next year, honestly, the government and its functionaries are going to leave worse than they came. They will be seen as fleeces. This fact is beyond doubt. They are not going to be able to point, for optic or not, what significant or major project they embarked on and finished.

In March, 2020, the Edo State secured 5 billion agric loan, no 500 farmers, exaggeratedly, in the entire state could say specifically they were able to access any Kobo from it. And before then, specifically in 2019, Edo State was among states that got lion shares of the N5.48 billion from the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme from the Federal Government. As from 2017, the Sobe farms was the talk of the state, for food security. Fast forward to 2023, it is a dead and forgotten project. Even government functionaries don’t talk about it in the recesses of their homes so that their sorrowful laughter wouldn’t be heard outside.

For the ‘defensive victims,’ under the psychology of gaslighting, for whatever reasons, I say we are doing our state a great disservice. We are setting a bad precedence for the next govt to follow. It will hire some of us as defensive mechanism to keep it immune from interrogation, inspection, questioning, prying, furtive eyes…while it does whatever it likes to our commonwealth.

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