…society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.

-Victor Hugo

Government is supposed to be an institution that not only represents the interest of the people,

but a man-made organization that is put in place by the people to promote and serve their interest. According to the social contract theory as propounded by prominent enlightenment era philosophers including J.J. Rousseau, the government is a derivative of the people’s collective reasoning to submit their freedom and will to a constituted authority or the state in exchange for the protection of their rights and welfare.

It is therefore sound and sane to submit that if as a people, we expect good governance from the system called government that we have submitted our rights to and protection of our collective interest from those we have elected to lead us, it is only rational, moral and just for us to enjoy same.

Unfortunately, for us in Ondo State, it is an incontrovertible truth that the Akeredolu-led APC government is turning out to be the greatest evil that has bedevilled our dear sunshine state, not only within the 19-year space of the fourth republic, but by extension, in the whole of her existence. We have now found ourselves in a state best described as a misgoverned state, a simile of Thomas Peacock’s Kakistocracy.

The crisis of bad governance in Ondo State came to its near zenith in April this year when the government of Governor Akeredolu announced the increment in the tuition fees of Adekunle Ajasin University.

Prior to this, Akeredolu’s government had earlier dealt a heavy blow on the good people of Ondo State by stopping the payment of WAEC fees as reported by reputable national dailies on November 30, 2017 including Thisday and Nigerian Tribune.

While it is unfortunate that the government of Akeredolu in Ondo State is yet to initiate any tangible or meaningful policy that is vital to the development of our education sector, he has been an expert at dismantling time-proven policies and legacies that have accounted for our leading position in Nigeria’s Education sector.

While the Late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin (Akeredolu’s kinsman from Owo), the late Chief Adebayo Adefarati, Late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, all indigenous democratic governors of Ondo State have their imprints on the sound of time for building sustainable laudable legacies in our education sector; Governor Akeredolu has not embarked on any initiative to sustain or build on these legacies, his actions have so far portrayed a betrayal of these legacies and the trust of the people.

It is worthy of note that what he has done so far in our education sector has done more harm and no good to our people and it portends a huge danger for our future. It was Victor Hugo who said “He who opens a school door, closes a prison”.

For us in Ondo state, it is a sad story of a governor who has nothing to learn from his predecessor who built over 50 mega schools to boost and improve modernized access to primary education, a predecessor who as well, sustained affordable education in the state’s most patronized tertiary institution; instead, he is skilled in initiating policies that can be interpreted as “shut the school door” policies. In what better way can the actions of a democratic government that is specialized in commercializing education be described?

What is worrisome and should bother every well-meaning and patriotic people of Ondo State is that, as our governor shuts the doors of education to us, he is opening up brothels on our streets, gallows behind our homes, graves where destinies will be buried, beer parlours in every home; he is making bandits out of our kins, and prisoners out of our sons and daughters.

As more and more of our younger generation now see access to tertiary education as an elusive dream, our governor may be succeeding in decorating the paths to the future with landmines that will reduce the number of nurses from our homes and increased the number of prostitutes on our streets; that will reduce the number of barristers in our honours roll and increase the number of drunkards who will come to display their skills at new paper stands and beer parlours every morning; that will reduce the number of those who would have received good education to become law enforcement agents and increase the number of armed robbers and bandits in our neighbourhoods; and that will reduce the number of leaders who should lead us in the future and plague our future with darkness.

Posterity will speak and hold you guilty.

Johnson Olusola Oke, A public Analyst Writes from Akure

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