There have been mixed reactions from several quarters and groups on the recent pronouncement on establishment of new tertiary institutions and upgrading of some polytechnics to universities.
Many observers and commentators have seen the Governors move only few weeks to winding-up of his administration, as a mis-adventure and a ploy to cage and destabilize the incoming administration as the existing Higher Institutions are poorly funded and lack basic infrastructures.
The first group to oppose the Governor’s move was the Imo Poly Integrity Group of Imo State Polytechnics, Umuagwo, who about a fortnight ago wrote an open letter to the Governor-elect, expressing their dismay over the rescue mission government proposal.
In their release, they described the “injection of four new polytechnics and a university into the education system of Imo state is ill timed”. The group observed that the Governor’s inability to fund existing tertiary institutions is a serious affront to education in Imo and that the precarious situation of the sector is worsened by the move of the state government and her purported agents, to float five new tertiary institutions which they said is in very bad taste.
The Okorocha’s administration had earlier in the month announced the establishment of some new tertiary institutions across the three senatorial zones, while elevating the Imo state Polytechnic into a university of Agriculture and Environmental Studies.
Those who have spoken against the administration last move, argue that the existing colleges and university in the state are poorly funded and not full accredited.
The newly proposed tertiary institutions include Mbonu Ojike National Polytechnic, Arondizuogu, Ahiara Polytechnic, Ahiara Mbaise, Shanahan Polytechnic Orlu, Imo State Polytechnic Ehime Mbano and the University of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Umuagwo, Imo state.
Commenting on the episode, a Human Right Activist and legal luminary, Barr Kingdom Durueke, opined that the Governor’s pronouncement is in bad faith, knowing the huge finances involved and non-existing infrastructure for take-off of the institutions would be an encumbrance.
He said such institutions need adequate infrastructure, enough funds to hire qualified staff and ensure that these institutions will be ready to go through N.U.C accreditation. “More over, you cannot make such pronouncement few weeks to your departure in the state as governor”, he argued.
Barr. Okere observed that in the eyes of the law, Rochas Okorocha’s pronouncement is illegal and of no effect, until the law establishing those institutions are amended and a new law to upgrade any of them is passed by the Imo State House of Assembly.
He explained that this shows you that “Rochas is an evil man” adding that his plans will not work. You don’t create a higher institution of any sort by word of mouth. “What he did is an aberration and not legal”, he uttered.