Dennis Osadebey University Asaba?

A call has gone to both the Delta State and Federal Government to name a Higher Institution in Asaba after Sir Dennis Chukwude Osadebey, the First Premier of the Midwestern region of Nigeria, as a mark of recognition and respect he rightly deserves in our society, just as Nigerians clamour for the naming of Oko Polytechnic after Alex Ekwueme. Comrade Emmanuel Nduka Ogwuda is very worried about the state of education in the country. Asocial critic and one of the leading vocal advocates for the reformation
of Education in the state, Ogwuda, a former school Teacher and Vice Principal, Entrepreneur, business mogul in the hospitality industry and frontline Anioma
politician, who hails from Okpanam in the Delta North political divede of the state, is very passionate about the need for government, both state and Federal to give greater attention to turning around the Education sector positively.
He is a strong advocate for an education system with pragmatic, result oriented policies and while hailing the very impressive
Delta state Education summit organized by the Governor Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa administration to examine and proffer suggestions to some of the challenges that face the sector. Ogwuda is still desirous of greater government intervention
that will not only save the state the embarrassment of placing so lowly amongst other states, in recent national examinations, but equally provide a more accessible and less rigourous platform for the children of these areas to fulfill their dreams of receiving quality education.
Tracing the problems that bedevil the present educational system to the very creation of Delta state in 1991, Comrade Emmanuel Ogwuda believes that one of the major set-backs that has stunted and negatively affected the education system is the absence of a Federal University or Higher Institution, particularly in the Delta North axis of the state.
“When Delta State was created in 1991, one of the major expectations of the new state was that the Federal Government would show good faith and expand its goodwill by also siting a Federal university
in the new state capital of Asaba as a way of addressing the education needs of the children of the state. Prior to the creation of Delta state, our children in the old Bendel state had the University of Benin, a Federal University and Ambrose Folorunso Alli University established by the late Governor of the then Bendel state, Professor Ambrose Alli, as a state University
in his home town, Ekpoma, (which actually started as Bendel state University, but was later renamed the Ambrose Alli University), he said.
Speaking further, Comrade Ogwuda, fondly referred to by his admirers and associates as ‘the golden voice of Anioma’, in recognition of his principled stance on developmental issues and philanthropy noted the exigent circumstances that led to the creation of the Delta State University
located in Abraka and how the institution
has been transformed to meet the education needs of Deltans over the years and how inadequate these measures put in place are becoming over the years.
“As you are aware, the Delta State University,
Abraka, popularly known as DELSU, was the brain-child of the late Governor Alex Ibru. But it actually started as a Government
Teachers’ Training College during the colonial era and some years into the post-colonial era and became the then famous
College of Education, Abraka, which was empowered to award Nigeria Certificate
in Education (N.C.E.) from 1971-1985. In 1981, it was affiliated to the University of Benin, Benin City and consequently offered degree programmes from 1981 till 1985, when Governor Alli created the then Bendel State University and it became the Faculty of Education of the University, which had its main campus in Ekpoma.
“The creation of Edo and Delta States in August 1991 and the conversion of the main campus of the then Bendel State University, Ekpoma to become Edo State University in December 1991, necessitated the establishment of an autonomous Delta State University, Abraka on April 30, 1992 by the then Executive Governor of the State, Olorogun Felix Ibru.
“In 1995 however, the Delta State Government,
having in mind the need to make higher education more accessible to the children of the fledgling state, introduced the policy of having three campuses that should be spread within the three senatorial
districts in the State and this led to the establishment of two additional campuses namely Anwai -Asaba Campus in Delta North and Oleh Campus in Delta south to join the main campus in Abraka, which is in Delta Central. Since then, the Delta state government has established several other higher institutions including Polytechnics and Schools of Nursing across the state Colleges of Eduation but sadly, twenty five years after the creation of Delta State, there is no Federal university in the state, except the recently upgraded Federal University of Petroleum, from the Petroleum Training
Institute, PTI, in Effurun, which is a specialized institution and located in the Delta Central area. But there is none in the Anioma/Delta North axis and this is very sad indeed,” Ogwuda lamented.
Ogwuda further expressed his unhappiness
over the failure of the Federal Government
to site Federal university by voicing his displeasure with the last Federal Political dispensation. He said: “I want to place it on record, as you very well know that former President Goodluck Jonathan established so many new Federal Universities across the country during his tenure, but none in Delta or even the Anioma axis. Some of them are: Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State (North Central), Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State (North Central), Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State (North East), Federal University, Wakari, Taraba State (North East), Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State (North West), Federal
University, Dutse, Jigawa State (North West), Federal University, Otuoke (his hometown), Bayelsa State (South South), Federal University, Ndufe-Alike, Ebonyi State (South East) and Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State (South West), amongst others, but none in Delta or Aniona/Delta North. The negative impact and admission difficulties which this absence of a Federal Higher Institution in our area has had on our children from Delta state and indeed Anioma, who have to compete for admission
places with children from these areas with Federal Universities, is a story for another day,” he said sadly.
The solution to this problem is not far-fetched and according to Comrade Emmanuel
Nduka Ogwuda, it is even staring both the Delta State government and the Federal Government right in the face and can be addressed immediately if the political
will and the interest of the people are taken into consideration in this very important crusade to bring higher education
closer and make it easier to achieve for the children of Delta state in the very near future.
“We have the answer to a Federal University
or Higher Institution right before us and I will tell you how we can achieve it. Do you remember Sir Dennis Osadebey? Sir Dennis Chukwude Osadebey, was the First Governor and later Premier of the Midwestern region of Nigeria and I am pained by the fact that our own Sir Dennis Osadebey has not been given the appropriate
recognition he deserves by naming a Federal Higher Institution after him. He was one of the founding members of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons
(NCNC) in 1944. He left the country to read law in England, returned a few years later after, completing his studies, established a law firm in Aba and was also made the legal adviser of the NCNC”.
Extolling the virtues and achievements of Chief Osadbey as a major political leader of his generation, Ogwuda said, “This was a man who, in 1951, contested and won a seat at the Western Region House of Assembly, which was dominated by the rival Action Group (AG) and soon became the leader of opposition in the region from 1954 to 1956, handed the mantle to Adegoke Adelabu in 1956, but took on his familiar opposition role in 1958, after the death of Adelabu, and became the President
of the Nigerian Senate in 1960, from where he rightfully assumed the position as the pioneer premier of the newly created
Mid-Western Region in 1963”.
A visibly unhappy Ogwuda noted that while his contemporaries and kinsmen, like Obafemi Awolowo, Samuel Akintola, Ahmadu Bello, Michael Okpara, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alvan Ikoku, amongst others have had prominent Higher Institutions and other symbolic monuments and structures named after them both in their hometowns and nationally, Sir Dennis Osadebey appears to have been forgotten by his own people.
“Ahmadu Bello was the Premier of the Northern Region and today he has a recognized Federal University located in the Northern region, in his name. Samuel Akintola was the Premier of the Western Region and today he has a major Federal University, the Samuel Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, located in his hometown, Ogbomosho. Obafemi Awlowo, as the major political leader of his generation
has also been immortalized with the Obafemi Awolowo University, a prominent
Federal University. Michael Okpara was the Premier of the Eastern region and today he has a Federal University of Agriculture in Umudike, his hometown. All these have made the quest for higher education easier for the children in those regions. But our own Dennis Osadebey has only one street in his home town, Asaba named after him. What
“This should be addressed by the present
administration and the Nigerian nation,
narrative in recognition not only of his outstanding role as the foremost political
figure from the Anioma nation, but indeed in his pursuit for educational and academic excellence, as a Lawyer, Poet and Journalist. Is there anything wrong with naming the Delta state University Anwai campus as the Dennis Osadebey University and upgrading it to a full-fledged Federal University?” he asked.
Speaking further Mr. Ogwuda said, “Sir Dennis Osadebey deserves greater recognition than he has been given so far, but as the saying goes, Charity begins at home and I am appealing strongly to all the relevant authorities, that the Delta state University, Anwai campus be upgraded to a Federal University and named after Chief Dennis Osadebey.
“We already have the structure and the facilities on ground in the Anwai Campus of Delta state University and it is even located in Delta North/Anioma axis which is where Sir Osadebey hails from. The Anwai-Asaba Campus, by the edict that established it, will encounter only minimal accreditation bottlenecks from the Nigeria Universities Commission, in terms of accreditation
of courses because it is already offering Courses in Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Management Sciences and Faculty
of Environmental Studies, as well as other related disciplines and the school has the facilities and landmass not only to accommodate more courses, but also to new structures to cater for the additional programmes and students population.
“It is a long standing tradition in Nigeria to name Higher Institutions after prominent
statesmen and leaders, who have brought pride and glory to particular regions
and Sir Dennis Osadebey is a leader of Anioma, Delta and the entire Midwestern,
now S/South region of the country. He deserves such an honour and the structure is already on ground for him to be recognized accordingly. If this is done, it would greatly address the quest for Higher education by our children in this part of the country, as it has done for the children in other regions over the years and also accord the great politician, legal luminary and literary icon, his rightful place in our history as a people for posterity”, Ogwuda affirmed passionately.