By Emmanuel Edukugho
Standard of education has gone down while immorality is spreading among students since government took over schools from the religious organisations. In a press briefing on the state of the nation, Pastor (Dr) Joseph Adebisi Ola, President of North Western Nigeria Union of Seventh-Day Adventist Church, in Nigeria, owner of Babcock University, Ilishan, Ogun State said that the Christian church has done well in education.
“We want to thank God that our medical and education works in Nigeria today are second to none. We set the pace for others to follow. Since government took over schools what have they achieved? Standard of education is going down, immorality has become widespread today.
We brought in morals to the schools, ensuring that students dress well, hair properly cut, respect for authority and obedience to rules and regulations.” Dr. Ola, a former chancellor of Babcock University said it was the University that introduced dressing code for students, stopped impersonation in examination halls when students sat exams for others.
“During my own days, when a student is caught in any malpractice or misbehaviour, he is dismissed and no other school will admit him again. But not so today as he can easily get admission in another school.”
He recalled a recent survey conducted in which 50 students in JSS 3, between ages fo 10 to 15 years were sampled to find out whether they still had their virginity or not.
“Only two freed, while the rest have messed up themselves. It shows the level of immorality among children in the schools.” On Nigeria at 50, he noted that the country has come a long way, paying tribute to the early nationalists who fought for independence and won it for the people.
He asked: “But what have we achieved ever since? Basic infrastructures are lacking, a child born 50 years ago should have everything now. God has blessed Nigeria with so much money, wealth and resources. Yet look at health, no way, education nothing, electricity zero, agriculture, transportation, to mention but a few, which ordinary citizens have not been able to enjoy.
He added: “I was not a baby in 1960 when Nigeria got independence. Few years later, the army came and the nation was thrown into darkness. Babangida came with his two-party system but trampled on us like chicken. Today there are 50 political parties – unknown, it’s stupidity. We don’t need 50 parties to rule Nigeria. We want only two.”
Ola called for investment of money on job creation for the youths, instead of spending billions of naira on 50th independence anniversary celebration. “Go to Ikeja and see the future of Nigeria being chained and locked up. In those days, after completing your education, jobs were waiting for you. But today, you finish your education and no job.
Clearing of bush in my environment was done by graduates including a master’s degree holder. Petrol attendants at filling stations are graduates. Jobs that used to be done by primary school leavers are now done by graduates. Jobs should be created for the young people.
So that their future would be bright.” According to the president of North Western Nigeria Union of Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Nigeria, the greatest problem confronting the country is leadership, how to measure leadership, by what they are doing and what they’ve done. Past good governors are not recognised.
Through the help of God, corruption which has tarnished Nigeria will disappear, and the name of Nigeria will then be written in gold, among other nations of the world. On Boko Haram, he expressed displeasure that when the sect leader was caught, in the first uprising, he was shot dead instead of arresting and talking with him to get more facts.
“They thought killing him will stop the activities of the sect, but it was hot so. His followers are now carrying on. They would have sat him down for interrogation.
If it was in Nigeria, Mutallab, the Nigerian terror suspect who wanted to bomb a plane in the US would have been killed. But the US did not kill him, rather he is on trial.” He said that the Boko Haram leader would have been interrogated to find out where he was trained, his backers, funding and so on.
“Hence religious violence in Nigeria will continue. Our leaders are not democratically elected. They select themselves, so they will serve themselves.”