By Davies Iheamnachor
OBELLE—THE people of Obelle community in Emohua Local Government Area, Rivers State, have complained that teachers and students in the dilapidated primary and secondary schools in the town are short of chairs and tables to sit and write. Chiefs, elders, women and youths of the community recently hit by communal war and battle for supremacy by cultists, stormed the Emohua council secretariat to register their displeasure over the ramshackle state of the schools, which they said was hampering academic activities.
Community Development Committee chairman of Obelle, Mr. Francis Ekwueme, told the chairman of the council, Mr. John Wokoma, who received the delegation that students were fleeing the two government-owned schools for private institutions because of their shabby condition.
The community said that if government did not act urgently, both schools might not resume next session, adding that it should declare state of emergency on educational institutions in the area. The people, however, commended the state government for including Rumuji-Ibaa-Obelle-Isiokpo link for reconstruction and said a state of emergency is required in the state’s educational sector in the area.
”We use this moment to express our profound gratitude to our brother and governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, in his efforts to reconstruct Rumuji-Ibaa-Obelle-Isiokpo access road, the importance of this road to the economic development of the area cannot be over emphasized. The dilapidation of that road is already posing danger to our people.
“We are requesting that the public schools in Obelle be listed for renovation in line with the governor’s move to renovate public schools in the state. A visit to the public schools in Obelle is an embarrassment, almost all the buildings are in state of disrepair with no seats for the students and the teachers.
“The community had made the same SOS to the council for the provision of desks, chairs and tables for the students and teachers, the council promised to provide them, but it was not fulfilled. We are appealing to the council to assist the community in this regard to make the business of teaching and learning an easy one,” Ekwueme said.
He further noted: “This scenario has remained a source of worry and concern, that our community might not be erased from the map of Rivers State academically if a state of emergency is not declared in our education sector to save the public school from collapse.”
Responding, the Caretaker Committee chairman, Mr. Wokoma, described the visit as a good one, adding that the council would do everything to support providing the needs of the community. Wokoma urged the people to ensure that peace returns in the area, noting that without peace there would not be development.
“This government will support our people to ensure that there is peace and development. We need peace for Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration to succeed. Without peace, there would not be development. We will do everything to meet your challenges.” He urged the delegates to go home and advice their youths against cultism and violence to give room for development.