• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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‘Despite Buhari’s slow pace, the promised change will come’

Godwin Onuoha, a former principal supervisor of schools (PSS) in Aba Urban and education secretary, Aba North LGA, Abia State, who has also served in many education boards in various capacities, now in private practice, in this interview with ZEBULON AGOMUO, deputy editor, expresses confidence in the Muhammadu Buhari-administration, saying he believes the promised change will be realised, given the integrity of the President. He also urges the Federal Government to investigate the renewed agitation for Biafra with the aim of assuring and re-assuring the Igbo nation of their rightful place in the country. Excerpts:
There are divergent views on the performance of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration so far. While some think government is slow in addressing the challenges of the country, some others say Buhari needs time to make the desired change. On which divide of the arguments are you Sir?
Every man, every person is a political animal. I know that Buhari had tried in the past to be president of this country. He promised the Nigerian populace a change. Now people say he is slow, people will call him names, but I think he has something up his sleeves. A man who has received recognition worldwide; he went to the United States and was treated as a king; he went to the United Kingdom; he has gone to France and to some other places- wherever he has gone to, he has carried the image of Nigeria as the giant of Africa; he has also carried his crusade for a change. We are looking up for that change. Change is constant; I know his change will come when it will.
Some people say government should not play the Ostrich in matter of the renewed agitation for Biafra but must address the issues that may have resurrected the campaign. What is your take on this?
Unfortunately, the people who are asking for a revisit to the Biafra issue are young people who never saw the war; they did not know what their parents passed through because before Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu passed on, he regretted that age was not on his side and he had his concerns for the Igbo race, how united are we? I want to agree with you that since these young fellows who are yet to be properly briefed on the sufferings of their parents are revisiting the issue, the powers that be in Nigeria should go back and find out the fundamental issues and ask questions; call the young people to a round table talk and assure them, assure the Igbo race that they belong, that they too belong to this country. In the past, it was Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and other ethnic groups followed. There should be no reversal. The Igbo people should be assured and reassured that they belong and that may lay to rest the renewed agitation for Biafra.
It is believed that if Nigeria hopes to get it right in its quest for greatness, it must address the issue of education. As an expert in the field of education, what, in your view, is the problem of education in Nigeria?
Education like you have rightly pointed out is regarded as the bedrock of civilisation. Any country that wants to do well invests on education. We know that very well. If this year’s budget is not as much as what we had expected, we would ask why? There are many things that have rubbed off on the allocations as compared with those of the past years and the allocation for this year. Now, the insecurity of this country, the amount of money it is  taking from this country and other areas; when we talk about the economy being bad, we have to consider a lot of factors. This insecurity of a thing- the Boko Haram issue- and many other things, are challenges; challenges that understandably can rub off on allocation to education as in other sectors.
What is your assessment of the government in Abia in terms of performance so far, and what other areas do you expect improvements?
Well, this young man, Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, is somebody who has a mission and a vision to accomplish even though he has his problems and challenges in terms of his having been declared the winner in the election and his opponent going to the appellate court, secured victory and they are currently at the Supreme Court and all that. These things can cost him some sleep. But be that as it may, he has a vision; his focus is in the main, the entire Abia State, with particular reference to Aba. I was in Aba the other day, what I saw was very informing. This young man has touched on roads; rehabilitation is going on and three new roads have been accomplished, including the Umuola Road which His Excellency, the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, came to commission. If you go there you’ll see the quality of work done, you will also know that this young man is up to something. He will deliver. Why he chose somebody like Eziuche Ubani who is a journalist by profession to be the commissioner for works is informing too. Eziuche is an insider; he knows where the shoes are pinching us, Aba in particular. The roads are being widened. The quality of work done is incomparable with what the former administration did. The governor as I see him is a man you can trust. He is a young man who has promised that the difference will be there.