South-West Deciders Must Not Make Boko- Haram.

As the Secretary of the Nigerian Youth Movement
(NYM), Chief Obafemi Awolowo in a memorandum
Co – signed by Mr. Ernest Ikoli, the Chairman
Nigerian Youth Movement demanded three things
from the Secretary of State for the colonies,
Colonel Oliver Stanley when he visited Nigeria in
September 1943, which were;
1. THAT THE GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO FIND THE
MONEY FOR FREE EDUCATION.
2. THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD CREATE 200
ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE BRIGHTEST
STUDENTS IN NIGERIA TO STUDY ABROAD IN ALL
BRANCHES OF STUDIES- AGRICULTURE,
INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, SCIENCE AND ARTS.
3. THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD FORMULATE
AND CARRY OUT PLANS THAT WITHIN FIVE
YEARS, FREE MEDICAL FACILITIES WILL BE MADE
AVAILABLE TO ALL MEN AND WOMEN
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.
In 1955, Awolowo started overseas
scholarshipolarship and within a period of four
years expanded to 2000.
Awo’s Action Group (AG) in its mission statement
published on the 24th, April 1951 outlined the
party’s objectives. The second of which was ” The
Education of all school going age and the general
enlightenment of all illiterate adults and illiterate
children of shool going age”.
Are they truly following the footsteps of Chief
Obafemi Awolowo?
It is worthy of note that there was fierce
opposition of this policy on education by political
opponents in 1954, coupled with the slim resources
available in the confers of Government. Funny,
political opponents could only present positions
that nothing good emanates from free schemes,
and even tagged the education policy as ‘Utopian
policy’. As at 1954, the total western Government
revenue was estimated in the fiscal at only
5,000,00 pounds for both capital and recurrent
expenditures. As little as this resources were then,
he endured via the help of his competent, scholarly
and haughty (Awo’s usual way of describing him)
minister of Education, Prof. S. O. Awokoya that the
policy not only became a reality but also grew
stronger and better as years got by. A time when
there was no oil boom. South west deciders has
no excuse whatsoever in not making Education at
all level free.
Today, most our known leaders enjoyed from
Awo’s free Education policy. Chief M K O Abiola
was a beneficiary too. A lot whom would not have
ordinarily seen the four walls of a classroom are
today erudite scholars and policy deciders.
Question we must ask them is that; have they
(Deciders, leaders in the helm of affairs, kingmaker,
policitians) made efforts to transcend free
education they largely benefitted from unto this
generation and that to come? I grin when most of
our contemporary leaders lay claim, mostly publicly
to be of Awo’s tutelage and legacies. Obviously,
they are in large contract to this claim (s).
Evaluation of the cost of Education in all
Universities in the southwest proves other wise to
their claim of emulating Awo’s style of leadership.
This is an important swivel to this discuss. Many
of them often hide under the guise of low
allocation from the Federal Purse and that
Government can no longer fund Education, yet they
grow flowers worth milions of naira, engage in trips
in tune of millions of naira, build recreation centres
that costs millions of naira among many other
frivolously en backed projects. But, they find it
difficult to spend less in subsidising education,
giving of mass scholarship to study abroad and yet
will lay claims to be of Awo’s legacy. How many of
our deciders even have kids in public schools?
Awo’s children all attended public schools, Segun
and Tola attended Ageni Methodist School, Ibadan
while Ayodele and Tokunbo went to Demonstration
school also in Ibadan.
I am most intrigued by the recent development in
the Northen part of Nigeria, I think they are up to
something or they have woken up to realize the
importance of Education or Awo’s true spirit has
reincarnated in Northern leaders! Thousands of
students, mostly youths are sent abroad on yearly
basis to acquire Education and exposure to modern
ways, on scholarship basis. I doff my heart! I dare
to say that in few years, if the trend continues,
then the South Western who has deprived her
indigenes of cheap and accessible education might
intellectually be on the back seat. The Easterners
are by nature business oriented and peripatetic
people who can be visibly noticed doing trade in all
parts of the nation. This is more or less a trade
mark, an average easterner would love to lean the
trade of business more than to acquire education.
A little child is already put in a shop all alone to
administer and attend to customer, which mostly is
excellently done. A feat some university graduates
cannot achieve. South Western deciders must as a
mater of urgency wake up to this clarion call
because drop outs ( due to exorbitant fee hike) are
fast flooding the streets. As put by Henry
Brougham that “To educate a Nation makes its
people easy to lead but difficult to drive, easy to
govern but impossible to enslave”.
In advanced Countries, private companies,
individuals and the entire public fund and support
education and academic research work. Our
deciders would only gather friends and cronies to
dinner just to raise money to seek elective
positions, for political campaign. Why can’t they
also do same to raise funds to properly make our
institutions function properly and competitively with
Schools abroad? More so, to subsidise the cost of
tuition fees. It is disheartening that deciders in
Southwest only harness connections and
intelligence when they are the first beneficiary.
Statistics has shown that in the last recent years,
that the no of admission seekers into higher
institutions of learning in the South Western states
has reduced drastically with the exception of
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba – Akoko in
Ondo State. Professor Akin Mabogunje opines that
‘free education did not imply that no one would
ever have to pay for it but free access to education
whether their parents could afford it or not’. South
Western deciders must as a matter of urgency
wake up to this clarion call because drop outs
( due to exorbitant fee hike) are fast flooding the
streets. As put by Henry Brougham that “To
educate and Nation makes its people easy to lead
but difficult to drive, easy to govern but impossible
to enslave”.
During Awo’s admisstrative era of seeing to the
affairs if the western region, his passion, desire,
sincerity of purpose, zeal and unwavering
enthusiasm in making Education free was
conspicuously noticed by various communities in
the west. Inevitably, this gave rise communities
exploring means of aiding Awo’s vision via building
schools, etc. We as a people from the generation of
intellectuals should vociferously stand against all
policies that makes education difficult to access by
the common man. And, endeavour to throw our
unflinching support for/on policies and deciders in
the southwest who has sincerest interest on free
education and scholarship schemes. The deciders
of today and potential southwest deciders must
consciously imbibe the word of Bryant McGill that
“Life has a way of shinning on people who stand in
the sunshine of kind actions”. We quote and
eulogise Chief Obafemi Awolowo almost every day
many years after his demise. Indeed, all his kind
actions are still shinning.
”Youth in this region are not lazy, or are they
recalcitrant. They posses thirst and has strong zeal
to acquire education because they are from an
ancestors of learned mind and erudite scholars. No
wonder we are often referred to as the ‘book’ of
the Nation. Our deciders should exploit all
reasonable means to make education cheaper and
more scholarship schemes accessible and available
in the interest of our future as a Yoruba sect and
for posterity sake.
South West leaders (leaders) should not engage in
means that will make Boko (School) an Haram
(Abomination).
Thomas Jefferson says, Knowledge will forever
govern ignorance.
Oyewole Michael Rolex
writes from Ado-Ekiti.
Oyewolemichael9@gmail.com
+2348038796168
@Rolex7Michael

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About OYEWOLE MICHAEL

Blogger, Farmer, Motivational Speaker, Development Analyst, Mentor/Life Coach, Business Consultant, Coporate Trainer, Outsourcing, Writer, Career Profiling, Service brochure.
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