By Dele Sobowale

“0803-307-2836 …You are quite right about the quality of private universities in Ghana and those in Nigeria and it’s no brainer to say there’s no comparison. Most of the ones in Ghana  are not better than glorified secondary schools in terms of infrastructure and course contents. I should know, because I was in that country to inspect a few on behalf of my son…Mike Oteri.

THE title, IA, instead of 2 should warn the reader that something strange had occurred. We should now be on part 2. But, last week, there was a grievous error in the first part of this series of focus on Nigeria’s private universities – compared with those in Ghana. Delta State had been included among states without private universities.

It was a major blunder. I had prepared the chart myself, and when listing, Delta had been recognized as one of the states with private universities. But, it was on the second page, which, accidentally, had dropped off. I apologise to Deltans and especially to the proprietors of the universities which will from now be included in the on-going study.

However, the mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I received nothing less than 313 text messages and phone calls from individuals from Delta — mostly pointing to the presence of two universities in Delta. It became boring after reading the tenth or so. But, I kept reading until Mr Oteri’s text message arrived.

It made it worthwhile to read all the others saying the same thing. Then a call came from 0807-111-1757, after over 50 calls; all repeating the same thing –“there are two universities in Delta”. That call was interesting because the caller, bless him, had also been to Ghana – and was disappointed. Now, I have allies in this struggle.

To those who only sent rejoinders to correct me, I thank you most sincerely for reading our paper and for investing the matter with the seriousness I think it deserves. To Oteri and “0807-111-1757”, I lack the words to express my appreciation for your contributions. One thing unites, or should unite, all of us – stopping our kids from going to Ghana, spending N80 billion for education not better than what they can receive at any of our best private universities in Nigeria.

Let me also hasten to add, for those who had pointed to other universities – Covenant, Redeemers, Madonna, Bells, etc. Rest assured, they will all be visited and documented. In the end, any university which is not on our list will not be worthy of stakeholders’ consideration. Even now, those still embarking on university choices can get in touch – if in doubt. Next week, I will provide an example of how hundreds of millions are lost, each year, by Nigerians, to university fraudsters.

Finally, at least for now, let me point out that, like Oteri, I was in Ghana, thanks to another Mr Oteri, Managing Director of Johnson Wax Nigeria Limited whose sales staff I had trained for about four years with impressive results. His colleague, in Ghana, had called him frantically because his stall was not performing. Godwin Oteri recommended me and for three years I was training sales people in Ghana; then I was recommended by the Ghanaian client to Uganda to train sales staff.

While in Ghana, I undertook field training with the sales people all over Ghana and that was how I got to know about their universities. Thus, it was amusing to me when I read about Nigerians trooping to Ghana for university education. The amusement stopped when the Central Bank revealed that $500 million of Nigerian money, earned or stolen, was being dumped on Ghana. It was time to act to protect our country and its universities as well as stakeholders….


“A leader is best When people barely know he exists Not so good when people obey and acclaim him

Worst when they despise him…

Lao-tsy, Chinese philosopher, 16th century.

Something absolutely horrible happened to Nigeria when the PDP held its convention at the Eagle Square last month. Not only did a good chunk of the accredited delegates fail to “obey” the President, who was seated there, with his wife, they demonstrated contempt by staging a walk-out on the President and the party leaders.

Never in the history of African politics, or for that matter global history, had any Head of State experienced such humiliation. And, as if to prove that it was not a spontaneous reaction, but was actually premeditated, they moved from the venue of the PDP convention to another pre-prepared venue to form a splinter party. For God’s sake, what were the President’s security people doing while all that nonsense was being planned and executed?

The series of face-saving meetings, which followed that episode had not restored any bit of the presidential prestige lost at Eagle Square. Instead, each day and each meeting had brought more insults to the President. Among other signs of impotence, the President has been forced to invite former President Obasanjo to mediate a conflict which Baba Iyabo partly instigated by his unguarded utterances about the government.

That is akin to asking your known enemy for food!! Bad as that was, the former president had twice failed to make any impact on the matter. That should have been known to Jonathan. Obasanjo cannot reconcile Ogun PDP; he has also failed to unite Southwest PDP. It is doubtful if he can even settle the dispute in his own household. Of what use is he then on the national front? Unless, of course, Jonathan, like any drowning person, would grasp at anything – even floating paper.

And his political enemies appear to be three steps ahead of Jonathan and his “friends”. Now, they are moving to seize the National Assembly by planning to remove David Mark. Not that I will lose any sleep over Mark, but his replacement by a Senator selected by PDM and APC could be the first step towards impeachment of the President. The question about whether Jonathan has a constitutional right to contest in 2015 could become an academic exercise long before then. And, “Mr Fix-it”, who is looking as bewildered as a magician who has lost his bag of tricks, will not be able to save Jonathan.


“To know that which before us lies in daily life is the prime wisdom; what is more is fume”

“P.S. Expect a cabinet shake-up soon. That is only one of the elements of the counter-attack which Jonathan must launch – if he is to survive politically”.

Dele Sobowale, Sunday September 8, 2013, SUNDAY VANGUARD.

Last Sunday, I wrote that prediction as a tail piece to the article on PDP crack-up. Incidentally, I had discussed the possibility with several knowledgeable people before writing it. Each time the reaction was either “why should Jonathan do it” or “what will be the benefit”? Thank God I did not listen to people who are not on our faculty at Unijankara. I was certain the cabinet would be broken. I was in American University in Nigeria, AUN, in Yola, the best University, by far in West Africa, when the news came. I was the only person who was not surprised.

P.S. If you want to know what happens next, just ask us. These guys are as open as a book to those of us who studied Street Wisdom.



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