6 yrs after, Abia govt yet to fulfill promise to winners of presidential debate
By Steve Oko
Winners of 2013 Inter – SUBEB (State Universal Basic Education Board) Presidential Debate from Abia State have expressed discouragement following the inability of the State Government to fulfill its promise to the affected pupils.
Investigations by Wawa News Global revealed that padding of list of beneficiaries by some vested interests might have angered the then governor to abandon the project.
The winners were four pupils from Living Word Academy Umuahia who represented the state and emerged the best overall in the country.
Similarly, two pupils from Amazing Grace Montessori School Umuahia represented the state in the Science Teachers Association, STAN – Science Fair Competition in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and also finished top.
The triumphant pupils from both schools were received together by the then Governor at the Government House Umuahia where they presented him with their trophies.
The elated Governor had at the warm reception announced a scholarship for them up to the university level.
This was in addition to N100, 000 cash donation to each of them.
The governor had equally directed his Chief of Staff to collaborate with ASUBEB and the Ministry of Education to compute what was required to train each of the pupils to their final year in any Nigeria university.
He specifically directed that bank account be opened in their names respectively where the funds would be lodged as soon as the committee was done with the computation.
But the pupils have complained that six years down the line the promise had not been fulfilled.
Speaking with our Correspondent on the matter, the Principal, Living Word Academy, Ogurube Layout, Mr. Caleb Omeaku expressed shock that the state Government had not lived up to its promise.
He said that the parents of the affected pupils had made frantic but unssuccesful efforts to see if government could redeem the pledge.
” The parents followed it up with the government but up till now nothing has happened “, he regretted.
The Principal appealed to the current Governor to investigate the matter and do the needful so as to boost the dampened morale of the affected pupils.
Mr Omeaku who expressed worry that Abia State had never participated in such competition since then also appealed to the governor to investigate the circumstances behind the sad development and revive it.
In a separate interview, the Proprietor of Amazing Grace Montessori, Pastor Nnanna Ochiabuto said the failure of the state government to live up to its promise had left a negative impression in the minds of the innocent pupils.
According to him Abia State will remain unbeatable in the education sector with the necessary government encouragements.
He appealed to Gov Okezie Ikpeazu to wade into the matter and clear every bottle neck delaying the implementation of the directive.
According to him each of the pupils was entitled to N1.5 million as the total scholarship package based on the computation by the committee.
He, therefore, pleaded with the governor to intervene and reward the winners for doing the state proud at the competitions.
Meanwhile a source which pleaded anonymity confided in our Correspondent that the then Governor was willing to approve money for the project but was angered by alleged padding by those directed to work out details of the scholarship.
According to the source, where as the actual number of pupils involved was six , the committee allegedly forwarded an overbloated list of 26 pupils to the governor including some pupils in other schools who never participated in the competitions.
This, the sourced said, could have infuriated the governor to lose interest in the matter.
Meanwhile when contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Joyce Uchendu said she had no information about the matter.
She said the Ministry could launch investigation if there were any formal complaint about it .
EndSteve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.