By Osaigbovo Igupbaro, Benin
The President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has declared that Nigeria education system collapsed when policy makers in Country laid the foundation for quota system on the basis of ethnicity and political patronage in place of meritocracy.
He made the assertion while delivering the 46th and 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Benin City, Edo State Capital where he spoke on the topic, “Re-prioritazation of education: A panacea for the obstacles challenging national development in the 21st Century Nigeria”.
Olumide, UNIBEN alumnus, lamented that the sets of Vice Chancellors at the moment cannot be compared to Vice Chancellors shortly after the first and second generations of Nigeria Universities were established in terms of wits and expertise.
“That was the moment we laid the foundation for the collapse of the education system in Nigeria. Rather than be guided by the best standard practice and principles, we prioritised the education systems that are administered in Nigeria on the basis of ethnicity, and son of the soil, crept into the education system and now hold sway.
“Look at the first sets of Vice Chancellors we had Nigeria then and compare them with what we have in Nigeria today. For instance, the first Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, was Prof. Enitan Njoku. He was from the South Eastern part of Nigeria.
‘The same school was at one time led by Prof. Gbadebo who was fathered by Ghanian. The first indigenous Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, UI, was Prof. Kenneth Nwaokadike, born in Awka, the present Anambra State”, he stated.
The NBA president called on Nigerians to galvanise support and vote for leaders that would prioritise education in Nigeria in 2023 and the retooling of the Curricula in the teaching of law and practice.
“Without taking anything away from Anambra election, we must all all go out and register to vote and begin the process of our Country… This is the only way that Nigeria’s problems can gradually and effectively be resolved. They will try to discourage you that politics is a dirty game.