Kogi Education Commissioner Charges Heads of Institutions to Intensify Action in Eradicating Cultism in Schools
By Ademu Seidu
The Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Ojo Jones, has charged all heads of institutions in the state to intensify action in eradicating cultism in schools as directed by His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello.
The Commissioner gave the charge at the inaugural meeting he held with all the relevant stakeholders in education on Monday in Lokoja.
Jones said that the purpose of the meeting was to interact with all the relevant stakeholders and brainstorm on how to take education to a greater height in Kogi State, saying the meeting would be a continuous process.
According to him, whatever we do, if we do not educate ourselves we will get back to zero level in the area of insecurity, crime and other devices. We can only build a sustainable economy on an educated populace.
”We have to wipe out cultism in our institutions because no matter what good plans we have it will never be realised in an unsecured environment,” he said.
He noted that the governor had had a meeting with heads of tertiary institutions in the state, and His Excellency was really emphatical about insecurity in tertiary institutions, and directed that cultism must be wiped out totally from all institutions in Kogi by February 29, 2020.
”I pray that God will give the heads of tertiary institutions in Kogi State and by extension other levels of education, the grace and the capacity to wipe out cultism in their various institutions.
”It is very clear that you cannot build anything in an unsecured environment, so all our institutions are to ensure that they comply fully to the directive of His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello.
”Our doors in MOEST is widely opened, we are taking education to the next level and we will need all hands on deck. So, we will need suggestions and ideas from every stakeholder on how to move the sector forward.
”When you notice any issue in your various institutions, do not hesitate to write to us and the issues shall be addressed”, he said.
The Commissioner commended the stakeholders for honouring his invitation for the meeting, assuring them of the commitment of the state government to delivering quality education for the people of Kogi State.
Speaking, the Deputy Vice Chancelor (DVC) Administration, KSU, Prof. Tai Oluwagbemi, said the school authority has been intensifying effort to ensure a secure environment in the university community and its environ.
According to him, the management of KSU are already putting the machinery in place as directed by the governor to ensure that security is entrenched in our campuses and stamp out cultism in the institution.
He added that they were also collaborating with the security agencies, religious leaders, traditional and community leaders, parents and students to ensure that cultism was totally wiped out from the institution as directed by the governor.
”We are taking the directive from the governor very seriously and we are working towards terminating cultism from our school, because it is also of great concern to us due to the image of the institution. So, we are out to rebrand the image of the university”, Oluwagbemi said.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Prof. Angela Freeman Miri, thanked the Commissioner for convening the meeting to enable effective collaborations which would bring development to education in Kogi state.
She noted that since she took over on 25th February 2016 from the pioneer VC, they had made giant strides despite the several challenges, while appealing to the state government to fulfil the promise of the perimeter fencing of their permanent site, to ensure adequate security.
She added that FUL has started running a Remedial Science Programme to help the science students who are having deficiency in their O Level, which commenced two years ago at the university permanent site.
She said that the management of FUL looked forward to such stakeholders meeting from time to time to fostering more interactions and collaborations among stakeholders in education sector in Kogi state.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Eric Aina, urged all the stakeholders to officially document their various requests and forward same to the Ministry for necessary action.
Stakeholders present at the meeting were: VC, Federal University Lokoja; DVC Administration, Kogi State University; Registrar, Kogi State Polytechnic; Provosts of all Colleges of Education in Kogi, and Rector, Prime Polytechnic.
Others were ANCOPPS, TRCN, NTI, NUT; Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary School (ASSUS), FMoE, STETSCOM, ANNFE, Director, State Library; Principal, Nigeria-,Korean Friendship Institute; among others.
The stakeholders in their separate goodwill messages, congratulated the Commissioner for his appointment, assuring him of their loyalty and support, that their cooperation would be unalloyed, and prayed God to give him wisdom in his new assignment.