South-West Governors on Sunday met in Lagos to strategise on improved security in the region following to the recent EndSARS protest mayhem. In his opening remark, Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, said that the region had gone through a lot in recent time. Akeredolu, who is also the Governor of Ondo State, said that when the EndSARS protest started in the South-West and other parts of the country, the police were guiding the protesters. He said that what started as a peaceful demonstration by the youths eventually turned to a different thing. “In recent past, our experience has been most worrisome, everybody is worried, everybody is concerned, we have to sustain the peace we have started noticing. “We are worried. What we are seeing in the last days shows that something needs to be done,´´ Akeredolu said. He said that the meeting was to improve on the relationship in the South-West region and find solutions to youth unrest. “What we have witnessed in the South-West is a great attack on our heritage. We must have collaboration across the board. We need the cooperation of the Federal Government so that this does not repeat itself,´´ the Ondo governor said. He urged the governors to be up and doing in their duties, adding that the welfare of the people was paramount. Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the South-West region had serious issues of security confronting the people. Sanwo-Olu said that over 500 vehicles, both public and private were destroyed, hospitals, monarch palace, among others, were not spared. In his address, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said the meeting was for those in government to retrace their steps and have a rethink of a better way to engage the youths more to prevent their restiveness. Gambari noted that President Buhari was aware of the level of destruction to private and public infrastructure in Lagos. He reiterated the federal government’s commitment to addressing the many challenges and demands of the youths in due course. Other South-West governors in attendance were Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo). The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, his works and housing counterparts, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, among others. The Traditional rulers in attendance include Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, among others.

Shina Abubakar, Osogbo

National Parent/Teachers Association of Nigeria has decried Southwest governors for not taking serious, free education policy in the region.

A statement issued by the association’s National Public Relations, Dr. Ademola Ekundayo in Osogbo on Monday described the free education policy in the region as a ‘mere political gimmick’.

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He added that Governors in the region pronounced free education at the primary and secondary level, but service delivered is too poor to be called education.

The statement read in parts, “South West governors need to ask themselves. Their own free education could be placed side by side with what Awolowo did? Their own free education for primary and secondary is a mere political tool, gimmick, and an instrument for politicking.

“Are these young learners being taught in a good environment? Are these governors providing textbooks, other teachings, and learning aids? The honest answers to these questions are known to us all. The answers are in the negative. As parents, we are ready to pay a token every term but let them give us a guarantee that the money will be spent on improving the standard.

“A token of N500 per pupil every term is affordable to us as parents. From the data available to us, in Oyo state over 1, 280,000 pupils are in primary and secondary schools.

Osun has 1,158,000, Lagos state has over 2 million, while Ondo state has about 1 million. Parents will be willing to pay N500 for each of the pupils every term.

“But with that, we want noticeable improvement. Enough of this gimmick called free education by the governors in the region. NAPTAN is ready to engage them and proffer solutions. The situation can’t continue like we have it now.”

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