Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha
By Paul Obi
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Tuesday took a swipe at Nigeria’s version of democracy, and described it as ‘democracy of the clique’.
Okorocha, while calling for the redefinition of the nation’s democracy framework in order for it to cater for the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian masses, also called for change of Nigeria’s educational system.
Speaking at the public presentation of a book titled: “An Assessment of Nigerian University Environment”, written by Mr. Temple Onyeukwu, in Abuja, the governor observed that education should be made free and given top priority in order to overcome all the woes of Nigeria.
On the nation’s bizarre democracy, Okorocha said: “Democracy is supposed to be government of the people, by the people and for the people, but it is democracy of the few, by the few and for the people. Or we can say democracy is government of the clique, by the clique and for the clique. There is need for us to redefine democracy in Nigeria.”
Drumming support for free education nationwide, the governor said: “Let Nigeria close down every other thing and make education free. We must give priority to education. If not, the problems of Nigeria will not stop.
“We are repackaging education in Imo State. I have security votes and I have cut it off for education. Education should be made free and there should be punishment for any parent who does not allow the child to go to school.”
On the need to refocus the University system, he said: “We must change our educational system. We need to make our university system focus on a particular field. There is no more professionalism and this is happening because there is no specialisation. I want us to establish University of Energy to end our problem in the power sector.”
On his part, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, attributed the declining state of the nation’s education system on the replacement of Teachers Grade 2 Certificate with the National Certificate in Education (NCE).
Maku maintained that the main problem in the education sector in Nigeria is with the bedrock of education including primary and secondary schools.
“Until primary schools and secondary schools are properly managed the country can never get it right, you can never be a good student in the university if you had no good foundation from primary and secondary schools,” the minister stated.
He also urged all corporate organizations and agencies to pay back to the society by supporting the growth of education in the country.
The author of the book, Mr. Temple Onyeukwu, had harped on the need to streamline certain examinations, especially the Post UTME examinations so as to avoid clashing with National Examination Council (NECO), and the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) held in July this year.