Connect with us

Opinion

Delta State New Universities And Matters Arising

Published

on

Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, the erstwhile Commissioner for Higher Education, Delta State, is consistently a controversial and most unserious Professor politician. Everywhere he goes, he goes with his consistent controversy. He is also incorrigible claiming he knows it all, even when he knows little. When he was the Commissioner for Basic Education, he ran down Secondary and Basic Education in Delta State. He is from Delta State University but created hardship for the University when he ill-advised government and unilaterally got all staff of the DELSU Secondary School from the payroll of the University and directed that the Secondary School should pay the staff from her internally generated revenue. The staff went to Court and was in court for about five years with the Delta State Government and the Delta State University until Mr. Chidie Ebie, a humble man, became the Hon. Commissioner for Basic Secondary Education. Ebie was a honourable man who worked with the Council of DELSU to clean up the mess created by Pat Muoboghare. Thereafter, the case was withdrawn from the court. Today all staff are happy and remain grateful to Council and Mr. C. Ebie, the immediate past SSG.

It was this controversy and many more controversies that combined with his dismal failure in the Basic Secondary Education Sector that compelled the predecessor of the incumbent Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to ignominiously re-deploy him to the Ministry of Agriculture in the wee days of his administration. Pat is also known to be quick to jumping boat. When he was appointed to the Higher Education Ministry, those who knew him realized that H.E, Dr. Ifeanyi A. Okowa, had made his first very big mistake. He survived this long because he is a smooth operator – sweet talker. He has been abusing his position as the Commissioner of HE by writing official letters unauthorized to Principal Officers and Governing Boards of tertiary institutions in Delta State. These would be made public in due course as abuse of his office.

Prof Pat had said in different friendly fora that if the Governor of the State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, could appoint his daughter and brother to his government without any moral qualms, why can’t he appoint his unqualified “illiterate” wife as Registrar of one of the newly established Universities by the Delta State Government. True to his boastful words, he has done it and heaven will not fall, as he had proclaimed

ALSO READ: Okowa Congratulates Dein Of Agbor At 44

It should be noted that the practice in Universities in Nigeria is to appoint a Deputy Registrar who had held that position for at least two years to the position of Registrar, after a competitive interview. Pat Muoboghare’s wife is just a recent Principal Assistant Registrar (PAR) who cannot even pass the internal aptitude test to the position of Deputy Registrar. It is a shame that the Governor of this state, Dr. Senator I. A. Okowa, could tolerate such a shameless display of arrogance and impunity by one of his commissioners, to appoint an unqualified person who cannot even take good minutes to be the Registrar to one of the State New Universities. It shows how far this Delta State has gone to accept mediocrity as the in-thing in a state that can boast have hundreds of Deltans who are qualified Deputy Registrars in Delta State University and other Universities in Nigeria that can be appointed to that position.

It is useless for Prof Pat Muoboghare to state that “I just de laugh” in response to the Urhobo youths, alarm. This shows how unserious a person he is and a mockery of the Government. It is equally shameful for him to refer to another unqualified principal registrar he appointed for the Dennis Osadebe University, Anwai, Asaba. He should be ashamed of himself. Further, it is a dumbish argument for the Commissioner to state that interview is usually not required in the appointment of principal officers of newly established tertiary institutions of learning. There is no doubt that Muoboghare knew that his wife CANNOT pass any interview objectively conducted for the position of Registrar , when she’s is not even qualified to be shortlisted for the position of Deputy Registrar in DELSU, let alone the position of Registrar.

As new Universities, the better thing to have been done by any sane, rational and educated and enlightened person was to ensure the best candidates were appointed to key positions, preferably through interviewing suitable candidates for the office of the Registrar, Bursar, and Librarian with the appointed Chief Executives sitting in such interviews. It is on record that when the last administration of His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, planned to establish four Polytechnics, the Planning Committee was saddled with the responsibility of advertising for the positions of the Provost, Registrar, Bursar and Librarian.

A number of qualified candidates applied for each of this position, they were interviewed and the three top best suitable and qualified candidates for each position were compiled by the committee and recommended to His Excellency to pick anyone of the most suitable candidates for anyone of the positions. This was the right thing to do by a Governor who believed in Excellence and the appointment of the best for anyone position in the tertiary colleges. But Pat who claims to be a master of know-it-all seems not to believe in any merit. He may have believed anything goes; the last can become the first, and the worst can become the best in politics.

What Prof Patrick Muobogharen did in appointing his unqualified wife is corruption in its highest and crudest form. Such recklessness and impunity should not be allowed to stand by Dr. A. I. Okowa. Those unqualified persons wrongly appointed as Registrar to these citadel of learning should be disqualified and immediately withdrawn and returned to their former duty posts and the Commissioner responsible for this ugly and ignominious actions should be queried for portraying our beloved and respected Governor, His Excellency Senator Dr. Ifeanyi A. Okowa, and his administration, in very bad light, for dragging the State to the mud, and rubbishing it. It could be that Prof. Pat Muoboghare is planning to jump ship with the administration haven less than two years to go, hence this bad faith action.

Further, the PPP arrangement being recommended by the Prof. Muoboghare’s Management Committee is one of the worst things that happened in this administration. If the purposes of establishing the three new Universities, without proper planning and thinking through, are to open and broaden access to our teaming admission seekers to University Education and to increasing employment, then the PPP arrangement has already failed even before it has taken off.

If the PPP arrangement worked elsewhere in the world, the Higher Education Ministry seems not to have studied the Socio-Cultural, Political and Economic Culture of those nations and how this culture had made them succeed by overcoming the serious constraints viz-a-vis the socio-economic and educational and political culture of Delta State, Nigeria.

Apparent implication of the PPP arrangement is that school fees would be high and most Deltans would not be able to gain admission into these Universities. It is rather strange that the same Governor who had been telling Deltans that parents are facing economic hardship would accept such a recommendation. Please note that recently, Delta State University, Abraka increased school fees by N50,000 for postgraduate students from N115,000 to N167,000 for masters students, and from N150,000 to N197,000 for Ph.D students. For undergraduate students, the fees was increased by N25, 000 from N60, 000 to N85,000. As a result of the high increase in fees to generate much revenue for internal use despite the fact the Delta State Government had taken over the full payment of all staff salaries and therefore no need for the University to augment payment of salaries. What a mighty relief for the university administration.
The Governor may not be aware that as a result of the high increase in fees, many students are facing serious financial difficulties in school and the rate of prostitution or commercial sex working by female students has increased rampantly. Begging among students has become rampart among both male and female students alike. Thus students are being dehumanized by the Governor’s approval of such an inhuman increase in fees at a time of prevailing poverty among parents and families after COVID-19. Where is our amiable Governor Okowa with his human face? Could it be that the human face is being gradually withdrawn as time is getting up? There is no doubt that so many students will be dropping out of University come second semester 2021, and subsequent years.

In making recommendation for the establishment of the three unplanned for Universities, Prof. Pat Muoboghare lied severally with the half baked statistics he made available to His Excellency which he came to consider as the critical data available to the government. For example, how many of the students who applied to DELSU as first and second choice were qualified even by Senate taking into consideration the quota approved?. How many students applied to Agriculture, History, Physics, Chemistry, Environmental Biology, Botany, Biochemistry, Education, theater arts, the numerous academic programs in Science Lab technology, sociology, geography and even Engineering.
Often cited is the statistics that out of the 23, 358 said to be qualified but only 4,854 candidates could be admitted, is lying with statistics. How many of these students met the cut-off points for Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and even Engineering was not mentioned. Why was the lowest cut-off point brought down from aggregate score of 45 to 45 pts in DELSU was not addressed. The reason was straight forward. Thousands of the candidates were failing and many had to be forced into several areas which many refused to accept and those who accepted requested to change to their preferred programmes which they couldn’t get into abinitio.

In effect, one consequence of these un-planned for new Universities is that many unqualified candidates will have to be admitted in recognition of quantity and those dismissed staff from other Universities will be employed to aggregate there and there will be a bunch of low quality staff. Similarly, the promotion criteria will be reduced to College of Education standard. If the only State University has not be adequately provided for in terms of quality facilities and quality staff, I wonder where will the quality staffing of these view Universities will come from. If quality students could not be found admitted in large numbers to DELSU, it implies that very low, non university materials would be easily and ready grabbed by these new universities who will be requiring and relying more on fund they are able to generate. The result will be garbage in and garbage out, as most products of these universities would be unsuitable for the economy. The result is that Delta State will be worse off.

His Excellency, Please we love you, do not fall our hands. Open your eye well, well and be careful with the advice of your Commissioners that do not wish you well!

God bless you,

Yours admirer of the Governor,

Dr. Chukwumeka Ojeifo
DELSU, Agric. Economy Dept.

Facebook

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Trending News