Retired Professor of Philosophy, Jim Nesin Omatseye, has reacted to the bill by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, seeking the upgrade of three tertiary institutions in Delta State.
Speaking in a telephone chat with The Nation in Warri, the professor said the state government has not “done well” for the three Warri Local Government Areas, Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West, given that they were left out in the proposed upgrade.
He stated that ordinarily, one of the three Warri council areas should have been considered for a university.
It will be noted that the College of Education, Warri (CoEW), is situated in Warri South LGA.
Prof. Omatseye posited that CoEW be considered for upgrade, so as to create job opportunities and admission into uncommon areas of study for the people in the area.
According to him, being fully operational and having “more PhD holders” as lecturers, it is easier for the CoEW to be upgraded to a university.
Wondering why the governor chose to upgrade the College of Education, Agbor and the Anwai Campus of the Delta State University (DELSU) to varsities, when they are only a few kilometers apart, he posited that the later could serve as an extension of the former once upgraded to a university.
“As one who is involved in tertiary education both in Edo and Delta, I feel, like many others in the three LG councils of Warri, that government has not been fair to us. The three LG councils of Warri have no university in their name.
“It is unfair that the Delta Central area has FUPRE, DELSU, Western Delta and then at Agbarho-Otor, they have Ibru and Cecelia University. The Ijaws have Maritime University, Okerenkoko, which maybe on the area but you know the politics behind that, and Edwin Kiagbodo Clark University, but the Itsekiris have none, Koko has nothing.
“Warri as a town has College of Education which for the first time, the provost is from the area. The question is what have we done in the three Warri LGAs? We have not got people to establish private universities like Ibori and Ibru. So should we therefore, be left without a university? And we know what that means in terms of employment opportunity, admission into rare areas.”
Prof Omatseye assured that the issue of land availability in Warri was no longer an excuse, as some Itsekiri educators had made efforts to build a university in Obitugbo located in Koko, headquarters of Warri North.