Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has been given a 14 days, to address the neglect of the State Polytechnic located at Mgbakwu in Awka North local government area of the State or face serious consequences.
The Governor got the ultimatum on Thursday following a protest by some concerned youths over the state government’s neglect of the institution.
TNC correspondent gathered that since 2017 when the institution was converted to a polytechnic from the College of Agriculture, no meaningful infrastructural upgrade has been done in the institution, while the number of students has drastically reduced.
There have also been allegations that the graduates of the institution were being issued invalid certificates, which has been turned down by other higher institutions where they applied for further studies, as the school lacks accreditation to run the said course.
On Thursday, the youths from the host community, numbering over 100, blocked the Polytechnic gate saying ‘enough is enough.
They bore placards with inscriptions such as,” Anambra State Polytechnic is a glorified secondary school,” “we need the intervention of the government here,” “we’re giving the school Authorities” among others.
They threatened to shut down the school after the 14- day ultimatum if the Governing Council of the institution and the State government failed to address their issues.
Some of their demands include, making the place look like an institution and not a glorified secondary school, accreditation of the courses in the school, giving their people employment, raising the standard of the institution among others.
The Coordinator, National Youth Council of Nigeria NYCN in Awka North local government area, Onukwube Augustine, while addressing the protesters, said they had kept quiet for a long time and would not continue like that.
He said they would soon lock down the entire Anambra State by blocking the Enugu -Onitsha expressway if nothing positive was done.
Onukwube, said they would write a letter to the security operatives in the State, the State House of Assembly and the State government to that effect, adding that “enough is enough”.
Also, speaking, the Chairman of Akamanator village Youths, Nwoye Emmanuel, said because of lack of accreditation of Courses in the institution, graduates of the school were being ridiculed everywhere they went to, while they don’t enlist for Youth Service.
“Today, the population of students in the Polytechnic is not more than 100, while the lecturers are not up to 30.
“Is that how to run an institution?” he queried.
For Pastor Chinedu Mbonu, Chairman, Mgbakwu youths Association, “if they are not ready to develop the school, the best option is for us to retrieve our vast land and start farming on it”.
“We are giving them only 14-days to respond to us or the youths will shut down the institution.
“We want the Mgbakwu -Ebenebe road constructed and these are some of the benefits we are supposed to get, yet nothing.
“We’re no longer happy, we’re angry ” Mbonu said.
Responding, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institution, Prof Ifediora Nwana, who suspended the Council meeting to address the protesters, pleaded for calm, adding that a lot of things were being done by the State government to remedy the situation.
“We are equally not happy the way you’ve expressed yourselves because we want the best for the school, but the state government is acting within its limited resources.
“Governor Willie Obiano is a good man who has done his best in making sure the State Polytechnic gets the best and he’s not relenting.
“I plead for time for some of these things are settled amicably,” he pleaded.
Speaking further, one of the Council members, Prof Victor Idigo, assured the youths of the community that in the next five years, the Institution would be the talk of the town in Nigeria.
He said some courses had been accredited especially, in Engineering, adding that the State government and the Governing Council had done a lot without the knowledge of the community.