Posted by News Express | 26 November 2014 | 2,893 times
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has announced the abolition of discriminatory school fees in Rivers State.
Speaking Monday during a visit to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), the Governor announced the immediate end of the practice in state-owned schools where non-indigenes are made to pay fees far higher than what indigenous students pay.
“The so called non-indigenes – as I don’t believe in this concept of non-indigeneship – should no longer pay fees higher than that payable by the indigenes of Rivers State. To me, once you have lived in Rivers State for five years, you are an indigene of Rivers State and entitled to everything entitled to any indigene of the state,” Amaechi told ecstatic students and staff of RSUST.
The announcement sparked instantaneous celebration by elated students, who sang: “Who shall will we follow? Amaechi! Amaechi!! Amaechi we shall follow; he is our hero and deliverer.”
Reacting to the development this morning, Leader of the Non Indigenes Political Forum (NIPF), Barrister Chuma Chinye, said: “I am not so sure that I have felt so elated, honoured and humbled in my life like this day when I heard this great pronouncement by the greatest leader of our time. The highest gift you can give to any reasonable Nigerian is education and for the Governor to slash the fees of the non-indigenes in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology from N85,000 to N18,000 is the best Christmas gift we can receive from the government and people of Rivers State.”
Chinye, who is the Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, urged all the non-indigenes in the state “to brace up to pay back the Governor by registering and obtaining the INEC Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as a tool for us to collectively punish the PDP and its promoters during the 2015 elections. It is through this means that we can appreciate this Governor that has demonstrated such commitment towards our case in Nigeria.”
NIPF Coordinator, Chief Uchenna Okokoba, expressed similar sentiments. His words: “Governor Amaechi is a true patriotic leader of our time. He is a nationalist in the mould of the Awolowos, Ziks, Ahmadu Bellos and Tafawa Balewas as these people all believed in one great virile, vibrant and indissoluble Nigeria. This is a leader who apart from appointing our people into the State Executive Council and other sensitive positions has also within a very short time empowered our people through contracts, ensured that our members are part of the 23 Local Government Caretaker Committees, ensured that our people are among the 13,000 teachers employed by the State to boost her educational advancement, reserved 20 per cent scholarship for non-indigenes in the State and included our people in all the Muslim and Christian pilgrimages amongst other largesse. In addition, he has integrated our people in the APC structure in the State and rebuilt the Mile 1 Market that was gutted by fire last Christmas where the bulk of our people do their businesses.
“Apart from all these, his remarkable feats in security, health, agriculture, education and quality infrastructure places him as first among equals in the leadership spectrum of our country. We will eternally remain grateful to this man whose love for our people is legendary.”
News Express reports that Governor Amaechi had last April announced the abolishment of the concept of non indigeneship in Rivers. He had told a delegation of NIPF, a support group of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, during a solidarity visit to the Government House in Port Harcourt: “I don’t believe in non-indigeneship. As far as I am concerned, you are entitled to everything if you have lived in Rivers State for at least five years. We are all Rivers indigenes. If you go anywhere around this State and they are segregating against you, please, call my attention. The reason is that we are all Nigerians and we remain bonafide citizens of this country. The All Progressives Congress (APC) believes that there is need for change because the government in power does not want money to reach you. We need the bottom-top approach for our people to benefit and improve their standard of living.”
•Photo shows Governor Amaechi.
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