By Kennedy Ikantu Peretei
It is impossible to expose the maladministration and misrule of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in the governance of Ondo State, in one short piece, hence my decision to bring them to the public domain in a series.
Since he assumed office as Governor on 24th February 2017, governance has been on a steady negative slide. Leaders of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) were the first victims of his high-handedness, which became manifest in the sheer number of persons who sought to replace him when he indicated interest to run for a second term. That is a matter for another day.
The Free School Shuttle Buses that parents and students enjoyed for more than six years under the previous administration suddenly disappeared from the streets under Akeredolu. There are unconfirmed reports that some of these buses have been sighted in Lagos and Owerri (only God knows what the buses are doing in those places).
Mother and Child Hospitals that provided free medical services to pregnant women and children below the age of five have all turned out to be mere consulting clinics, as more than 150 medical doctors pulled out of the state’s employment due to poor conditions of service. The woes that have accompanied Akeredolu’s misrule are endless and the people are suffocating daily.
Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo has become a ghost of its former self, since the coming of Rotimi Akeredolu. Incidentally, the Governor hails from the ancient town too. Why he allowed this level of ruin is the only government-owned tertiary institution in his birthplace beats one’s imagination.
The Polytechnic’s Staff School that had operated for more than 25 years was closed down for no good reason. The staff and students were left in the cold. The Governor’s friends and allies amongst the staff were absorbed in the already overstaffed Polytechnic’s nominal roll.
Subventions to the school have been on the decline while the school is being loaded with new staff from Akeredolu and his aides. Workers have not been promoted in the last three years. Even jobs that are awarded by TETFUND are hijacked by Governor’s cronies. The entire place has been reduced to something near hell.
As it stands, the school has more staff than students because of increment in school fees, which students cannot afford.
On Monday, 1st November 2021, at the launching of the office complex of Anglican Diocese, Bishops Court, Owo, students of the school blocked the convoy of the Governor, displaying placards with various inscriptions, appealing to the Governor to pay the arrears of the Polytechnic staff salaries that are more than ten months. How does the Governor expect these workers to feed their families?
The Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo belongs to the people of Ondo State and no effort is too much to protect this institution from imminent collapse. The school has produced great men and women in our society. Governor Akeredolu should not ruin everything that he met in Ondo State, as history will be very unkind to him if he continues on this lane.
This series will continue shortly.