Birth of Confluence University Answer to Failure of Former Kogi Governors

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Reactions to the passage of bill for the establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, by the Kogi State House of Assembly has generated divergent reactions. As usual with our state, reactions are largely inclined towards ethnic alignments.

While the average Igala view this new development as an ‘Ebira Project’, people from other senatorial districts in the state believe it is an idea whose time has come.

Two categories of people are being cynical about the Confluence University of Science and Technology; members of opposition parties and our brethren from Kogi East senatorial district. They advanced arguments that the state finances cannot bare the burden of another university when the existing Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba is still largely under-funded. Some suggested that the existing state university be balkanized with campuses created in Central and Western senatorial districts.

It is worth mentioning that those advocating for the balkanization of existing Prince Abubakar Audu University are ‘turn coats’. The same set of people kicked against the idea of balkanizing the University when Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello muted the idea in his first term.

For those in opposition political parties, Kogites are used to their way of doing things. When Prince Abubakar Audu established the university in Anyigba, opposing politicians told us we can not run a university. They called the university ‘glorified secondary school’. Audu stood his ground and proved them wrong. Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello will prove them wrong again.

The reality many are aware of is that the state is not financially capable to run two standard universities but who cares?!

When the idea of a state university was muted by the first executive governor of Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu, there was a promise to site the institution in Kabba. Audu personally made this pledge during electioneering campaign in 1998/99. However, when he assumed office in 1999, he succumbed to pressures from ethnic chauvinists who lured him to site the university in Igalaland.

After making a volt face, Audu promised that, as compensation, faculty of engineering and college of medicine of the state university will be established in the West and Central parts of the state. He failed to do this.

After Audu, two other governors from Igalaland, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Captain Idris Wada towed the line of deep ethnic bias on the issue of the state university that was founded and funded with overall resources meant for the entire state. Not only did they refuse to establish the promised campuses in other parts of the state, they pursued a shambolic ethnic agenda that ensured only Igala was fit to be Vice Chancellor of the state owned university.

The failure of past governors to rise above ethnic bias gave birth to the new Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara. This new university will also be funded same way the one in Anyigba was and still being funded. This new University will flourish and will become the pride of us all. This is the beauty of EBIGO!

Once the Confluence University of Science and Technology begin to flourish like the cedar of Lebanon in few years from now, nothing will stop the establishment of another State University in Okunland. All three will be world-class and we will experience healthy competition of intellectual ideas and solutions to societal problems.

The Confluence University of Science and Technology is an idea whose time has come and it will further unite us as a people in Kogi state.

– Abidemi Olalekan writes from Lokoja.


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