ABIA: A STATE THAT WANTS TO EAT HER CAKE, HAVE IT, POSSIBLY SELL IT FOR PROFIT
…public school premises now places where marijuana and other hard drugs are sold
There is an English adage that says that no one can eat his/her cake and have it, but naijawatchdog can authoritatively tell the English wise men that they underestimated the abilities of a blackman especially those in charge of Abia who are capable of anything including eating their cake, have it and even probably sell it to make profit.
It will amount to total waste of strength for this medium to begin to educate its followers of the importance of primary and secondary school education to every child and society. It is obvious that everyone of you knows that those early or foundational education shapes and reshape the future of every child and the future of children determine the future of every society.
In a society where foundational education is treated like the proverbial goat with many owners that dies of hunger, then that particular society is digging its own grave. The lackadaisical response of the Abia State government to the issue of notorious and malicious selling of government school lands around Aba and its environs is becoming a criminal silence.
During the administration of Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji in September 2012, the Abia State government did what everyone termed a welcomed development by handing secondary schools over to Churches and individuals identified as the original owners of the schools.
The move was not done with any malice at all. It was done to make secondary education stronger in the state, but the reverse is the case as the decision has now backfired in a way that what ought to be good has turned ugly. What is obvious is that most of the churches that actually came to take over these schools don’t have what it takes to maintain it and grow it as expected
The situation at the Secondary Technical School, Aba, Wilcox Memorial Comprehensive Secondary School, Aba, Eziama High School, Aba and the All Saints Secondary School, Aba are pathetic as almost large portions of the schools lands have been sold to private property developers who either erect shops or houses around the school.
Sometimes last year, a national newspaper reported how the Ehere community in Obingwa council area of Abia state cried out over alleged sale of plots of land belonging to the Secondary Technical School, Aba, by the proprietor of the school.
The community lamented that the objective of donating their lands for the building of the school has been defeated as the new owners of the school have allegedly given out plots of land belonging to the school to private individuals who erected structures at the premises and questioned What kind of learning could take place in an environment where trading take place and students share classrooms?
From that publication, it was discovered that as at last year, some concerned communities and lovers of education raised alarms on this wicked acts, but naijawatchdog can confirm that nothing has been done to the people buying and selling those lands up till today that you are reading this report.
This situation has given rise to many substandard mushroom secondary schools that have nothing to offer in terms of facilities and sound morals. The situation has led to zero failing by dull students who are promoted to classes they don’t deserve to be just to retain them and collect their monies without impacting anything into them.
The quality of some secondary schools owned by private individuals in Aba in terms of equipment, laboratory, morals, teachers shows how blank the future of Abia State is.
ABIA SCHOOLS USED FOR HARD DRUGS BUSINESS
The remaining government owned schools that still have their lands intact, have become dens for hard drug sellers and users.
The situation has put Parents, guidance and residents of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State in perpetual lamentation as the notorious activities of hard drug users and sellers in the various primary and secondary schools premises which are literally abandoned by government have left many with foresight saying it will soon be beyond redemption if not curtailed now.
Their lamentation is coming against the backdrop of the nefarious activities of the drug sellers and users who are bent of corrupting school children to emulate their illicit activities are capable of ruining their lives forever. These are innocent children who went to school to learn academics and good morals, but could end up learning how marijuana is sold.
Naijawatchdog went on a tour round major primary schools and secondary schools in the city and discovered that even within school hours and lesson periods, the illicit drug sellers still trade on drugs like marijuana and its related ones.
At the city primary school, township school, school road primary school and Eziobu Primary school, all in Aba Township, the entire bush paths have been converted to Marijuana bunks. The story is not different at other major primary schools at Hospital road, Tenant road, Okigwe Road Primary School and Abayi Primary School.
At the Sacred Heart College (SAHARCO), a catholic boys college which was supposed to be owned by the catholic diocese of Aba, where the motto is “Testimonium Perhibere Veritati” (to give testimony to the truth), students there now give testimony of marijuana as against the truth they were meant to give.
The Wilcox Memorial Comprehensive Secondary School at Ikot Ekpene Road, which was handed over to the United Evangelical Church is totally gone as all kinds of illicit activities have been linked to that school of recent. There, people don’t just sell drugs, but residents are alleging that the school has become the den of recalcitrant children and many societal deviants now occupy the totally abandoned mighty school that cannot boast of 20 students now.
On several occasions, the governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has boasted that education is one of the 5 pillars of his government and that his government has invested seriously in education, but naijawatchdog will like to plead with the governor to please find a way to remove all the criminals that are occupying the schools in Aba and recover the sold lands and punish the sellers to serve as example to others.
Naijawatchdog also urge the state government to make sure that teachers in the public schools are paid as at when due to put an end to the lackluster attitude in teaching and constant strikes that keep coming at the wrong times. A worker deserves his/her wages and any worker being paid his wages should be seen as a right not a privilege.
The state government should also revisit the handing over of schools to some churches and individuals and see those who aren’t capable of handling the task and return the neglected schools back to government and give more to people like those handling the Ovom Girls that has made it a unique school.
This revisiting naijawatchdog appeal should be done fast because no matter the creativity, ingenuity and mastering in recycling of already used and spoilt things that Abia may possess, she can never eat her cake and have it. She can never spoil the rode and spare the child. She cannot destroy her educational institution as expect to produce reasonable citizens tomorrow.
Forget the euphoria and noise in West African Secondary School Certificate Examination where the state claimed it took first. Let the government see the danger ahead and apply caution.
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH