By Oluwakemi Ishola
The Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has faulted Governor Seyi Makinde’s 365 days achievements in office. It described all the achievements listed by the present administration in the state as phantom and mere propagandas.
In a press conference held in Ibadan on Wednesday by its State Secretary, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun, SPN declared that Oyo State free education policy stands incomplete without the state government paying the external examination fees of the students and pupils in the schools. SPN emphasised that there was no basis for the Makinde-led administration to be claiming that payment of examination fees should be the responsibility of parents and at the same time be claiming to be running free education policy in the state.
The statement reads in part: “Even though there is no doubt that some of the interventions and projects packaged as one year achievements of the Seyi Makinde-led government in different areas of the economy like Education, Agriculture, security, infrastructure development and the welfare of workers and pensioners are quite needful and necessary, however, they are not been driven by the philosophy which its fundamental motive is to ensure improvement in welfare and living condition of workers and the poor people in the state”.
“Unfortunately, instead they are been driven by procapitalist philosophy which represents an economic orientation whereby the priority list of Government’s interventions and projects is drawn based on the capacity and potential of such projects and interventions to guarantee an increase in the wealth of the few members of the ruling elites who are either political office holders or acolytes in business who often masquerade as contractors”
“No wonder, Engr Seyi Makinde-led government has decided to rely on Public Private Partnership, PPP and the dubious contract system which are the two cardinal neoliberal policies through which members of the ruling elites award to themselves public funds meant to create sustainable developments and improvement in the standard of living of the people.
“Partly, this is the crux of our worries and concerns as far as these one year achievements are concerned and not even whether or not the so called achievements are comparably more in terms of quantity and quality than the similar one year achievements claimed by the discredited Senator Abiola Ajimobi/ APC led government in Oyo State.”
Speaking further on Makinde’s education policy and programmes, the SPN said welcomed cancellation of N3,000 Levy because it brings a temporary relieve for the poor parents who are the direct victims of the imposed fees but most importantly because the introduction of the fees itself was in the first instance unjust and anti-people. However, the party rejected the continuous propaganda been built around education sector of Oyo State. “Cancellation of the N3,000 levy, stoppage of examination fees and free distributions of six exercise books to each of the students in the public primary and secondary school in the state does not represent a free education” the party said.
“This is clearly a falsification and misrepresentation of fact. Free education goes beyond the cancellation of N3,000 and free distribution of six exercise books for primary and secondary school students in the state. We believe that such an intervention by Engr Seyi Makinde-led government should have better been described as education subsidy and not free education.
“This is because free education entails so many things like the expansion and modernisation of physical infrastructure like classrooms, laboratories, libraries, sick-bays and the provision of free meals, textbooks and possibly uniforms and bursary to students. Also central to the delivery of free and quality education are well-trained and competent teachers with provision of impressive remuneration for them.”
The secretary explained that as longer the present administration in the state continues to use the contact system for the execution of project it will remain a pro-capitalist one.
He added, given this thorough analysis of virtually all of the so called achievements of the one year of Engr Seyi Makinde-led government in office, two things are very evident; “First is that some of the intervention and project that form some of these achievements were actually carried out for the purpose of propaganda. Some were carried out to create a window of opportunity to increase the wealth of the few members of the ruling elites who are either political office holder or acolytes in business”
The SPN called on workers both in private and public sector, market women and men, artisans, students, youths to stop having the illusion that any section of the Nigeria ruling elites regardless of pro-capitalist political party they belong to, is capable of satisfying and meeting the basic areas of needs of the poor people.