Deltans and Nigerians in general have again been taken aback and are in total shock over the anti-excellence and anti-people policies of the Delta State Government led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the latest of which is the scrapping of all forms of Students’ Support Programme initiated and sustained by past governments, have come to be.
Just like the rat which cools and eats the feet of its victim, the Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Board in a memo with reference number DT/SB/61T2/52, on Wednesday, September 27 2017, announced the suspension of the 1st Class Graduate Scholarship Scheme.
This Award which entitles the beneficiary to a cash reward of Five Million Naira in addition to Postgraduate scholarship up to the doctoral level as well as automatic employment was one which Students of Delta State Origin who performed excellently in their various fields of learning looked forward to.
The message by the board which is currently receiving a backlash from all quarters in the State and beyond, is a mockery of the agenda of the current administration, ‘Prosperity For All Deltans’.
Education which remains the bedrock of any nation and a veritable tool in eradicating illiteracy, Crimes, Terrorism and Poverty, has received a TKO (Total Knock Out) from the Delta State Government.
Recently, the Governor himself was seen in the media being honoured in a supposed distinguished way at the Prestigious Citadel of Learning in the West, University of Ibadan (UI) and at the Cradle of Scholars in the East, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).
These universities known for producing some of the best brains in the Country, should in the light of this anti-excellence move of their awardee, hide their heads in shame for giving a precious award to someone whose policy negates the recognition of excellence.
As stated in the letter, reason given for the suspension of the special support scheme, was the alleged financial downturn in the State. But the questions begging for answers are; How much in Naira value gets to each beneficiary of this noble scheme? What is the actual number of 1st Class students of Delta State origin every year? Why choose to suspend such scheme at a time when the Economy is gradually recovering? Was there any fraud recorded in the Scheme and if any what has happened to the culprits?
When the prayers of hardworking Fathers and Mothers of Delta origin are being answered by the bagging of First Class Honors by their wards each year and relax off on the Scholarship scheme of the State Government to further learning process of these children, their hopes are now being dashed by the ignoble action of the present administration.
Suffice it to say that this attitude of the State government could be the reason for the low turnover of 1st Class graduates at the just concluded Convocation Ceremony of the State owned Institution, Delta State University (DELSU). It is true that when rewards are not attached to a competition, it becomes a mockery exercise.
While the over 300 political aides and halleluyah congregation of the Governor continues to feed fat, Deltans will never forget the era of anti-peoples policy made by the Okowa administration of declaring himself an enemy of Educational Excellence.
© Michael O. Abudu