Ikhide’s futile attempt to rewrite Obaseki’s achievements in education
BY CRUSOE OSAGIE
In the past 11 months, since the start of His Excellency Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s second term, there is one person I was shocked not to have met in the Government Secretary’s waiting room either. from Edo State, Mr. Osarodion Ogie Esq., or that of the Chief of Staff, Mr. Osaigbovo Iyoha. This person is Mr. Erasmus Ikhide.
Ikhide is known to travel repeatedly to any new government in place in his home state of Edo State to offer his weapon for hire or draw the battle line if political actors he approaches refuse to give in to its coercion.
During the first term of the Obaseki government, I had a chance meeting with Ikhide both in the office of the SSG, Mr. Ogie, and that of Governor Obaseki’s former chief of staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele.
In both cases, the two senior government officials asked me to host him, citing how fiery he could be with his quill.
Afterwards, I invited him into my office for a chat and soon realized that he was just playing out his script to try to intimidate government officials with something to hide by offering him a date. you in the media and communications branch of government or by separating from financial sponsorship from time to time.
Unfortunately for Ikhide, in this irresponsible journey to the government led by Obaseki, he would come away empty-handed for two main reasons. The first is that this time the man at the head of the governor’s media architecture and communications management was my humble self, a seasoned journalist and media manager who had to deal with the types of Ikhide several times before, either as colleagues in the newsroom. or as an undertaker pursuing clients for whom I have worked as a media consultant.
The second reason was that there was really nothing untoward about Obaseki’s government that anyone needed to cover up in silence.
So I told Ikhide at the time to go to hell in such a polite way that he looked forward to the trip with pleasure.
Ikhide cannot deny these visits because in those halls of Government House where he used to hide, waiting for pennies and dimes to fall, there are security cameras which are stored in a repository with the date and time that can prove it was at those places on these days.
It is important to shed light on the character of the author of some of these moralizing articles in order to protect the innocent and unsuspecting public from accepting crooks as whistleblowers.
I remember a warning I received from a senior colleague, Nik Ogbulie, when I was in my twenties and had just started this difficult journalism career: “There must be a more honorable way to win. his life.
Ogbulie was referring to the tough tactics that some irresponsible journalists have relied on to gain patronage. Ikhide should have received this advice much earlier in his writing career.
As for the tissues of lies he threw up in his article “Decaying State of Education Under Godwin Obaseki’s Watch,” it was very boring to read an article filled with absolute lies from the headline to the last line. Ikhide based the absurd conclusion he made in his title on the absence of facts and logic. He didn’t even try to tell the lies in such a way that they were credible. No verifiable clues such as the number of out-of-school students in Edo compared to other states or the success rate of Edo students taking standardized national and international exams.
Nothing about the teacher-student ratio or the state of the physical infrastructure of Edo schools, among other things, in the drivel.
It was just a chatty story of lies printed by unsuspecting media intended to deceive people who don’t live in Edo.
Governor Obaseki’s expansive footprint in the education sector is as transformative as it is innovative. The radical change has been observed in the basic education sub-sector, with a fundamental overhaul underway in technical and vocational education, as well as in other higher education institutions.
Over the past two weeks, public announcements have been made for admission to Edo State College of Nursing Sciences, which was recently re-accredited to offer 3-year nursing programs by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN ). This college was once the Edo State Nursing and Midwifery School, which was a horror when the governor took office.
The rot was so deep that the governor could not imagine the state training nurses in an institution with such a deplorable infrastructure and ineffective management system. It was said that not only were the school’s courses not accredited by the NMCN, but graduates could not get gainful employment due to the low level of training.
The overhaul process saw the school rebuilding and restructuring it into a college specializing in nursing. New conference rooms have been erected; the offices have been renovated; the laboratories were equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and a new management structure was established. A visit to the college site on Limit Road, along Sapele Road, will expose the devious ax work undertaken by Ikhide to deceive the public with lies.
In the same vein, the Edo State College of Education has been transformed into a multi-campus institution with campuses in Abudu, Igueben and Afuze. The college has a new direction and is expected to resume its academic activities early next year. New teachers have been recruited to provide quality education.
With the new arrangement, instead of having disjointed colleges scattered across the state, with little to no administrative cohesion and substandard tutoring, the state now boasts of a multi-campus Education College. , with a main campus and two sister campuses, catering to the educational needs of Edo youth.
While the Abudu campus focuses on training teachers specializing in primary education with a digital training center; the Igueben campus specializes in the training of secondary and science teachers and the Afuze campus is intended for technical education, physical education and special education.
Another higher education institution that has received a lot of attention is the Edo State College of Agriculture with campuses in Iguoriakhi, Uromi, and Agenebode. The new multi-campus college is taking shape with completed work on designing how campuses will harness the state’s natural resources to drive growth and development. As a 1,000-seat auditorium nears completion, with a number of facilities under construction on the main Iguoriakhi campus, the government is completing the process of recruiting skilled hands to lead the college when it welcomes its first cohort of students early next year. .
The Government’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program is also on track with the overhaul of the Government Scientific and Technical College (GSTC) of Benin City, the recruitment of over 104 teachers and the deployment of a renovation program for all State technical colleges with the support of development partners.
The reforms at Ambrose Alli University, Edo State Polytechnic, Usen and Edo University in Uzairue all bear witness to how Governor Obaseki has placed education on a high pedestal in the state. With dynamic management supported by the government led by Obaseki in these institutions, a profound reengineering has spawned changes that continue to spur growth and development.
In addition to these efforts, a much needed fundamental change introduced in the basic education sub-sector through the Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation Program (EdoBEST) has dramatically improved performance. learning outcomes in state primary schools, affecting over 200,000 students with over 11,400 teachers. trained to give instructions in an exciting way using digital technology.
The impact of the program has seen students learn three times more than they would in a quarter, as well as improvements in numeracy and literacy in elementary schools across the state. The success of this program earned the Governor the 2019 Best Governor Award from the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT). The World Economic Forum, due to the feat recorded through EdoBEST, ranked Edo State among the top 5 African governments to lead the way in solving learning poverty.
The fact that Ikhide has decided to turn a blind eye to these and undertake a vain and vain rant filled with lies speaks volumes about his character deficit and also exposes his intention to reverse the facts for pecuniary gains of his treasurer.
The public is urged to beware of his plight, as their intention is truly to obscure reality for a loaf of bread and not to serve the public good.
Osagie is Special Advisor, Media Projects for Godwin Obaseki