By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcourt
Recently, Governor Nyesom Wike gave reason Rivers Ijaw cannot get a University.
The governor while speaking to the people of Ekpeye Ethnic nationality who paid him a solidarity visit at Government House last Wednesday, said he will instruct the Chairman of the Governing Council and the Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University to cite a campus of the University in Ekpeye land and when other people come (apparently referring to the Riverine people) they should establish University for themselves.
Governor Wike said “Those things that you did not get before, you will get it now. If we don’t do it, who would do it for us. Now that God has given us this opportunity, we have to do it for ourselves. When other people come, they should do it for themselves. Let me assure you that I will call the Chairman, Governing Council of Rivers State University and the Vice Chancellor, they must have to work out a way where we can have a campus of Rivers State University in Ekpeye land.”
“This statement by Governor Wike reveals why he cited a new Port Harcourt Polytechnic (Elechi Amadi Polytechnic) in his Obio Akpor LGA, despite the fact that the Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education are all cited in Port Harcourt” some political pundits noted.
Observers say that it is unfortunate that such words of extreme discrimination and hate should be spoken by a sitting governor, considering that the College of Science and Technology was established in Port Harcourt by an Ijaw man, Governor Diete-Spiff and upgraded to Rivers State University of Science and technology by another Ijaw man, Governor Melford Okilo.
Prince Tonye Princewill an APC Chieftain in Rivers State in his reaction said Wike forgets that the College of Education (now Ajuru University of Education) was established near his community by a former Governor of Ijaw extraction, Diette-Spiff; even the College of Arts and Science was established and upgraded by Spiff and Okilo, all of them former governors of Ijaw extraction.
He said: “It is disheartening that Rivers Ijaw, a people that embraced western education, and produced graduates in several fields of human endeavour ahead of some major tribes in Nigeria do not have a single state-owned higher institution and now Gov. Wike is saying that they must wait until they have their son or daughter as governor.”
“Wike is probably already seeing his end and is predicting his hand over. What he doesn’t realize is a Governor of Rivers state is a Governor for all and should govern with that as his guide” Princewill advised.