The name Ogugu sounds very beautiful and popular; popular maybe because of her rich cultural and traditional heritage. To some of you who haven’t been to my dear country home but may have heard of big names (what we call big masquerades) that made it out of this abode and her captivating cultural heritage may want to visit, I guess. However a visit to my community may change your thinking and all the fine thoughts you have about this ancient city. What you will see on the ground I bet you, will be an eyesore and extremely ugly situation. Was there a nation that had survived in the past without education? This question may sounds rhetorical, yet begs for answers.
By law, children between the ages of six and ten must attend school. But, it is so unfortunate that the same government who put out this law failed in her responsibility. As I write, the ancient city of Ogugu; Emodu as a case study, a community in Kogi state and its environs has no government owned primary school anymore. I know this may sounds untrue but it is the reality on the ground. The poor children of Ogugu origin has been denied right to good education. Hence, have been on the street for over 5years now, and takes to farming and hawking as a substitute to early education.
According to the literature, there are two perspectives on educational process: from the education provider and from the education receiver. Family and community are the key receivers of education; and school and the government are the key education providers. However, the education providers seems to have forget her role, as our primary schools have been on a forever strike and it seems it will never be called off till eternity; five years down the line and still counting.
Come November 2019, is another gubernatorial election in my dear Kogi state. I know they will surely come for our votes. But, immediately after the election, I also know they will disappear into thin air. Now, the big question is are we only good for voting in leaders and representatives but not good enough for development? A word they said is enough for the wise.
The truth is “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. We are very much aware of their stratagem and tactics this time. Fix our schools, get our votes. Leave it as it is, forget our votes. Though, It is very unfortunate that the government in power refused to attend to our plights even after so many posts, letters, articles has being written on this same topic.
Ogugu that had produced big names in the past and even in the present dispensation. Her sons and daughters had hold many important positions in the state and even at the federal level. But unfortunately these names had added little or nothing to her development, especially in the area of education, roads network, water, hospital and electricity. It is no longer news that we are in a total blackout both in power and in education.
Emodu, Adupi, Unyi Ogugu, Emakuracha, to mention but few, all in Ogugu in Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi State had been shut out of primary education for some years now. Our schools had become a shadow of itself.
The blocks are now left for flies, fowl of the air to defecate and rest on. They have succeeded in taken over the schools from human being. Government no longer prefer humans to learn but animals, what a sorry state. If not how would anyone shut down primary schools for no reason and the worst part is that, no one is saying anything.
Education is the bedrock of every society, the bedrock on which a nation stands, I also know that, education is the birthright of every human child; it is the nation’s debt, hence every child deserves a right to a good and sound education. Education is not a privilege of the few, rich and well-to-do; it is the inalienable right of every child. Even the Human Rights Commission has so declared. Hence, should not be handed over to or left in the hands of those who would hold us to ransom, or who would forcefully take this right from us.
It should be firmly rooted on the hearts of skilled educators and those who would valued and know the right of a child not to those who care less about the populace. It is now clear that Kogi state government has turn a deaf ear to this sorry state of our citadel of learning, hence they did nothing about it. What is most appalling is that why would Kogi state government take a back seat at a time where the world is prioritizing and investing in education. What an unjust and insane society.
The beautiful thing is, it is not too late for Kogi state government to go back to the drawing board and get things fix. The government in power and those of her appointees should be bold enough to admits their errors and mistakes, get it done and returned to the good book of the people. We still believe the government of Yahaya Bello have something good to offer. And, that’s why we the good people of Ogugu are begging him to come to our aid and put a smile on our faces. It is not over until it’s over.
– Ameh Moses Sunny Fojoma