The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration will ensure individuals found culpable in mismanaging public institutions are duly prosecuted and punished.
The governor disclosed this after receiving Part Two of the report by the Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate activities of the College of Education, Igueben and Michael Imoudu College of Physical Education, Afuze.
Obaseki said the era of overlooking the mismanagement of public institutions was over, as anyone found culpable will not go unpunished, adding, “We would do away with the tradition of allowing people mismanage public resources, run down public institutions and go away without punishment.
“We want to look at this report and see if there is any ground for prosecuting some of these people who were involved in the destruction of these institutions. These institutions were set up to train high quality manpower to serve the state. They were not created to serve the interest of a few people and their godfathers. With the renewed mandate Edo people gave me, I will not allow a situation where the bad habit that led to the destruction of these institutions to continue.”
The governor said, “We would look at the recommendations and decisions and implement them. People must take the responsibility of governance of these institutions seriously. If not, there will be consequences. If we find out that a person appointed into the board of an educational institution is involved in wrongdoing, we will not wait for any panel of enquiry but ensure that from the report received, immediate action will be taken.”
He said the analysis and summary from the report showed that there was an underlying thread of poor governance of the institutions, noting that these institutions were badly run leading to their closure.
“Thank God for the courage we took in closing down the institutions as the restructuring process commenced. We have commenced restructuring of the College of Agriculture which is now one College with three schools. Construction work has started at Iguoriakhi, and planning is ongoing for the Uromi and Agenebode campuses to enable us to restart the schools on a solid and more sustainable basis,” he added.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Commission, Mrs. Gladys Idahor said, “The common trend with all the Colleges is the refusal to run the activities of the College in accordance with the laws that established them. The management of these Colleges also gave preference to paying their allowances than salaries of staff.”