Edo state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, shunned a well-decorated reception in Abudu, the administrative headquarters of Orhionmwon Local Government Area, to register his displeasure with the locals over the deplorable condition of Esigie Comprehensive College, an outreach of College of Education, Ekiadolor.
The Governor, accompanied by the members representing Orhionmwon East, and Orhionmwon South Constituencies, Hon. Nosayaba Okunbor and Hon. Roland Asoro respectively, and the interim Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mallam Ali Sulayman, inspected the facility on Thursday morning.
Expressing his disappointment with residents of the area, he declared that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which would serve as a guarantee from the community, must be signed before the state would commit resources to refurbish the school.
“How can this be a College of education," he wondered, before continuing, “Nobody cares about the development and maintenance of public facilities. If politics is about development, this is opposite. The damage in this school is frightening. How do you think our children can have a future with this school? I am not happy. I do not expect any party leader from here to visit me in Benin until we fix this place because we are talking about the future of our children,” he emphasised.
He described the school’s condition as “sad and pathetic” because Abudu was important in Edo’s educational landscape, especially as one of the earliest teacher-training colleges was established there.
On his plan for the school, he said: “We are seeking to change the curriculum into a technology-based one. This attitude of feeling that we can forget the past and start from nowhere is wrong. After the holiday period, we will train teachers in the new curriculum, which we want to introduce to Primaries 1 and 2 in September. We will have to quickly carry out emergency repairs to accommodate the teachers when they come here in the next one or two months".
Meanwhile, SUBEB Chairman, Mallam Sulayman, advised the community to call on the government to make repairs when such facilities were falling into disrepair.
“Without education there is no future. When facilities are built in a community, they should ensure that they are protected; they should be involved as a contribution because the Government cannot do it alone. A situation whereby government facilities are vandalised and the communities are not concerned is not good," he stressed.
In addition, the Enogie of Obanosa, HRH Professor Gregory Akenzua, elucidated on the institution’s background, saying: "Several years ago, the founding fathers of the community had a vision to attract educational institutions to the community. The provincial education training campus was initially here, but it was later moved to Benin; that is Ekenwan Campus, University of Benin today.
“The place was also being used for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp, but it was later moved to Okada. Nevertheless, we are happy to see the enthusiasm that the Governor is showing and we hope that the planned restructuring of the colleges of education is implemented.”