Olu Babalola, Ibadan
A renowned Islamic Cleric and former Dean School of Engineering, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro in Ogun State, Professor Sabit Ariyo Olagoke has advised the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu to rescind his decision to cancel free education policy as reported in the media.
Professor Olagoke gave the advice in Ibadan on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen after a lecture put in place by Shafaudeen Brother’s Dawaeah to mark its annual week.
The lecture was titled “Effect of Religion,Education and Society on the Youth: Need for Proper Management”
Professor Olagoke admitted that it costs a lot to fund free education but said that there are steps to take as late Chief Obafemi Awolowo did to successfully execute free education stressing that it would amount to a betrayal of the masses if the Governor insisted on executing the reported policy.
He said “it is so unfortunate that such a retrogressive statement policy statement on education should come from a renowned Awoist.I doubt if he was accurately reported. If the government is truly contemplating that ,it should be stopped.
“This is because down the memory lane when the defunct National Party of Nigeria leaders said that free education was impossible, what the late sage did was to actualize free and qualitative education.Many people who are academics ,professionals are beneficiaries.
“Baba assembled people like late Dr.Tai Solarin, Professor Ayo Awojobi Professor Wole Soyinka,late Archdeacon Emmanuel A lay an of and others for their input and the project was a huge success. Unnecessary wastes of resources like tea consumption at meetings and many others were stopped .He stopped all the wastes in ministries and parastatals and the money saved from such similar sources were diverted to implement free education, he alluded.
“They concentrated on facility updates of primary and secondary schools.They partnered with some countries like Bulgaria and others and it was a success story today.The performance of products of Late Bola Ige’s free education project dismissed the pessimism of antagonists of free education, he noted.
Olagoke pointed out that if free education was cancelled in any State in the Southwest, it would amount to a betrayal of the course of late Chief Awolowo whose policy has become a relief to the children of the downtrodden who might have got their ambition killed by poverty.
“I repeat. What Gov.Akeredolu would have done was to lead a vanguard on the advocacy to cut excessive expenditure as done by Baba Awolowo and to plead to the parent body of APC to do same at the national level in the interest of all and sundry., he said.
Earlier during his lecture ,Olagoke who is also the Proprietor of Shafaudeen Group of Schools Wakajaye Ibadan urged stakeholders on education, religion and other sectors of life to focus on the youths on the need to correct anomalies to be able to promote inclusive and sustainable development in such a way as to positively affect the lives of the youths.
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