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By Ehigie Uzamere

“All these people that won’t let me rest. Adams which school you go? Adams your certificate? Adams your classmates? Haba, na only me dem see? Anyway, make I kuku build university. I fit take am self. If I no fit, the university go give me PhD, I go dey answer Dr., who go still remember to ask me about school again. But these Benin people go talk say, State university no dey Edo South. Okay, make I tell them say I don upgrade Ekiadolor College of Education to Tayo Akpata University. Tayo no be dem pickin? They go give me chance build my university for my door mouth, abi na only Benin people; Igbinedion and Idahosa go get university?”

These must have been thoughts running wild in Oshiomhole’s mind when he announced his purported upgrade and renaming of College of Education, Ekiadolor to Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor. This was enough for the seven communities on whose land late Governor Ambrose Alli cited College of Education, Ekiadolor to believe that Oshiomhole was a populist governor, and not a deceitful person.

He got Edo State Assembly to hurriedly pass the bill upgrading the institution to a university as if Edo State Assembly is the Minister of Education and Federal Executive Coucil whose duty it is to give license for estabishment of universities or the National Universities Commission whose duty it is, to accredit universities.

A search will show there are, as at 5th June 2020, seven (7) universities in Edo State. University of Benin (Federal), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and Edo University, Iyamho (State universities) and Benson Idahosa, Benin City, Igbenedion, Okada, Samuel Adegboyega, Ogwa and Wellspring, Evbuobanose as private universities.

Of these seven, Edo University Iyamho is of interest. It was envisioned same time as “Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor” but nothing was done to actualize it. Tayo Akpata University came dead on arrival. Edo University Iyamho, but for COVID-19, would have graduated its first set of graduates this year. Not only were structures completed at Iyamho, the school has NUC accreditation for courses to be taught. The same Edo University Iyamho, which original dream was to be privately owned by Oshiomhole? No wonder he was in a hurry to get things done properly. But because of his hatred for the Benins, he cleverly avoided a proper upgrade of College of Education, Ekiadolor to a University or a degree awarding college.

If Oshiomhole had no disdain for Edo South and her citizens, why would he not do the utmost needful to upgrade Ekiadolor College of Education to a degree awarding College? Why name it after Tayo Akpata who served under Gov. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia as a commissioner of education, while re-naming New Era College – a secondary school, after Gov. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, at the same period? This is yet another glaring example of Oshiomhole pitting Benin families against one another.

But this Tayo Akpata University scam would be corrected as we will do everything possible to upgrade where necessary, and see to the completion of structures at the site. We have had enough of one man’s brazen attempt at denigrating a people of zeal and intellect. We have been deceived enough.

We can not continue to have Oshiomhole sow seeds of discord among us. He keeps pitting Benin families against one another. If we cannot see through his scams and scheming by now, then we would be left with no option than to be at the mercy of the thugs he prefers to mentor. But with God on our side, we shall overcome.

Benins be wise as we tackle our common detractor – Adams Oshiomhole.

In God I trust,

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