Governor Rochas Okorocha says what the nation needs more at the moment are citizens who are Nigerians in spirit or at heart and not just those who are Nigerians in name, for the nation to make progress, regretting that Nigerians of this generation have allowed religion and ethnicity to divide them.
Governor Okorocha spoke when the Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Colleges of Education, Prof. Aliyu Muhammadu led a delegation from the body to pay him courtesy call on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Government House Owerri, remarking that most people who answer Nigerians are not really Nigerians in the real sense of the word.
His words, “What we need in Nigeria are Nigerians in spirit or at heart, most people are not Nigerians per se. They are sectional Nigerians, either they are Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. Some are either Christians or Muslims. What we need now for development are Nigerians in spirit. Until we have that, we may not be heading the proper direction. We have allowed religion and ethnicity to divide us, and so many sentiments of human existence to divide us, while the actual disease we have which is poverty, we have not collectively tackled it”.
He commended the executive secretary for his detribalized nature having spent some parts of his youthful years in Imo State and still appreciates it till date, adding that most people do not understand that “political power is a trust which can only be justified when used for the benefit of the common man but most of us leaders misplace it as a right or privilege and therefore misuse it. In Imo we have used it for the benefit of the common masses and thank God things are changing and taking good shape”.
He continued “I am happy you have made people to understand that ALVAN Ikoku College of Education is moving to a University of Education and there is need for replacement and that, we are doing speedily in trying to provide three Colleges of Education in the State. We promise to increase our speed in this regards. Our plan is to have three Colleges of Education, one in Okigwe, one in Orlu and one in Owerri. Our plan is to finish them before we handover in 2019. We have adequate partnership with your commission”.
He said “In education, Imo is doing very well. This year alone we were the highest, best in JAMB applications and even the people that came 2nd were not even up to half of us. This is courtesy of the free education we offered to our people. So many people who never believed they will have the opportunity to further their education because of funds are now getting the opportunity”.
“The College of Education in Ihitte-Uboma is just an attempt to solve the problem of teachers that is ravaging our state. Today we don’t have enough Science teachers in our Schools and this is our challenge because Imo is rating itself as the best in education. So we need Colleges of Education to take care of the growing education needs of the state”, he stated.
The governor promised that before the Commission comes back by December, they will see a massive improvement on what is on ground already and must be the pivot upon which other developments must evolve. “I call for partnership with the North so that we can tap from each other. We can export education to the North through sending of teachers and they can equally export Agriculture to us through the sending of farmers”.
Prof. Mohammadu in his speech earlier said they were in the State for a resource visitation to the State College of Education in Ihitte-Uboma and to add value to what the governor has already done there, adding that they came, over matters bothering on education, and said he would like Imolites to know that they look at Imo as one of the best places where educational development happens.
For him “Alvan is one of the best three Colleges of Education in the country and is transiting to a University of Education. So there is need for a new qualitative NCE granting institution in Imo State to replace ALVAN and appealed to the governor to use his usual wisdom as a lover of education to make the Ihitte-Uboma College of Education to be one of the best in the country.
“I know he can do it because those of us from the North, we have our own perception of Governor Okorocha. We look at him as somebody who is an achiever, as somebody who does things rightly no matter the obstacles because he has a great taste. We use to capture an imaginary performance of all the governors in the country and I can assure you that governor Okorocha is the man to beat”, he stated.