IT would be shameful, if it is true that what President Goodluck saw at the Police College, Ikeja, shocked him. Why was he shocked? In what state did he expect to find a 73-year-old institution that has run for decades without maintenance?
The Police College in Ikeja is old. Facilities in newer schools are better. The Police College makes the side point that concentration of powers on the Federal Government does not permit efficiencies that more action participation of other rungs of the power ladder would have wrought.
It is also important that the President’s shock is properly situated. Is he shocked that institutions in Nigeria could degenerate to the point he witnessed? Is his shock partially out of anger that votes for these institutions might have been put to other uses? Would he be shocked to know that if the authorities had fore knowledge of his visit parts of the school would have been in sparkling conditions before his arrival?
What the President saw is a minor part of the decay most public institutions are under going under the uncaring watch of people we pay to manage them. If resources allocated to Police College Ikeja were mismanaged, what would the President do to redeem that and ensure there are effective procedures to spare him such agony over the state of our public institutions?
The Ikeja shock provides a great pedestal for Jonathan to make a self-assessment of his administration. Too many things are escaping the government’s attention because the President is busy and his lieutenants have busied themselves with the politics of being in office rather than serving Nigerians. He should be out there finding out things for himself since nobody would give him the true picture.
Many areas of Nigerian life are worse than the unsettling situation the President beheld in Ikeja. If we cannot maintain physical structures, how do we deal with the environment or intrinsic values like justice and the rule of law?
We doubt if this commendable visit – which opened the President’s eyes to Nigeria, far from Abuja – would bear much fruit.
The President has a lot of work to do: if we cannot maintain what we have; it is little wonder that we cannot build new ones.