“Stating concrete facts, Delta state put a scholarship package of #200,000 for her M.Sc students and #300,000 for P.hd students, per annum; Rivers state is not lagging in this gesture with #250,000 for M.Sc and #400,000 for P.hd per annum and several s postgraduate programme sponsorship initiatives .Our sunshine state under Governor Olusegun Mimiko at present does not even see the need to respond to the postgraduate educational yearnings of our sunshine people”.
The National Forum of Ondo State Post Graduate Students (NAFOSPS), is an umbrella body of Ondo State intelligentsia coming together irrespective of observed differences by local government of origin or by virtue of the institution where a postgraduate student of Ondo state extraction undergoes his/her postgraduate program in Nigeria. Its co-ordinating centre is the University of Ibadan, with local chapter co-ordinators at different universities who consistently intimate the national co-ordinating center with developments in their various universities. The body has compiled a list of students, through the Dean of students Affairs. There are about 200 M.Sc and over 70 P.hd students of Ondo State origin undergoing postgraduate programs in different departments of the University. Jayeoye Tititlope is the National Secretary and Adeyemi Temitope Sanya , National Co-ordinator. Both are M.sc students of the Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan.
The Forum was established to effectively encourage and co-ordinate academic excellence for state and national development. It has a mission to create a platform for Ondo State postgraduate Students to Interact, engender a better environment for postgraduate studies, be the link between Ondo State postgraduate Students and concerned authorities and enhance the welfare of Ondo State postgraduate Students towards the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge. It equally aims at being a diligent, honourable and decent forum in character, contributing to the advancement of society by actively participating in activities that affect the society in general.
The Forum is the brain work of the National Co-ordinator and National Secretary. After settling down at the University of Ibadan, for their programme, they sought to know if there was a body as the National Association Of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), a conglomerate of Ondo State Students at the undergraduate level. As members of NAOSS at the local chapter of the universities from where they finished their first degree programmes and enjoyed scholarship packages from the then Governor Olusegun Agagu administration, they believed such should be in existence. When none was found, they felt the need to create an association or forum specifically devoted to the welfare of Ondo State Postgraduate Students .
According to the National Secretary, Adeyemi Temitope Sanya, the Forum is faced with challenges any institution at its formative stage will encounter. The good news is that the national executive members have prepared for these surfacing challenges and thus are bracing up to them. “Topmost on the list of our major challenges is the nonchalance the supposed concerned authorities have meted to the forum. It will be apt to let our sunshine people know that we have made relentless effort to meet and table our vision and mission before the Governor of the state, His Excellency, Olusegun Mimiko, but our efforts have been futile in achieving this target. Watching our fellow postgraduate students from other states enjoying scholarship packages courtesy of their state governments and with such gestures not replicated in Ondo State, rubbishes the endless propaganda peddling round of his excellencies sterling performance in the educational advancement of the sunshine people. We make bold to assume and presume that good gestures towards the delivery of good, impactful and qualitative education for our sunshine state is a deserved heritage and right of us all. This is non-negotiable, it is sacrosanct and we ought not to genuflect to any ruler of the state before this is bequeathed to us. Stating concrete facts, Delta state put a scholarship package of #200,000 for her M.Sc students and #300,000 for P.hd students, per annum; Rivers state is not lagging in this gesture with #250,000 for M.Sc and #400,000 for P.hd per annum and several s postgraduate programme sponsorship initiatives .Our sunshine state under Governor Olusegun Mimiko at present does not even see the need to respond to the postgraduate educational yearnings of our sunshine people. This crass insensitivity and insouciance is condemnable, deplorable and should be reprimanded by all well-meaning Ondo state people. NAFOSPS is a youth organization that is absolutely different from other faceless youth groups that parade themselves around politicians, submitting without any resistance to the whims and caprices of the ruling class to gain picayune gratifications. We are intellectuals, consequently, our carriages, conducts and modus operandi must be commensurate with the intellectualism we are at the moment committed to. While others could easily be swayed by propaganda, sentiments and worthless perceived deliverables, we are more detailed, factual and realistic in our assessments and performance indices. Two major critical areas where the incumbent governor has preformed below expectations and poorly in comparison to his predecessor are in education and youth advancement and development. Worthy of mention here is to state categorically that we are not an active and fanatical member of any political group or party in the state, hence we do not want to be seen as advancing or promoting any political party. A dispassionate assessment of the major areas alluded to, will reveal nothing but a sorry state. His Excellency’s disposition towards the overall educational quest of our people has been defective and short of what we ought to get in view of the massive financial strength of the sunshine state. Dr Olusegun Mimiko’s disappointing attitude towards the education of the sunshine youth are summarily captured as; irregular payment of bursaries and scholarship for the Undergraduate students of the state, passionate plea of the Ondo State Law graduands calling on the state for financial support consistently met with insulting disinterestedness by his Excellency. It took series of protests by the affected law -school bound students before his Excellency could grudgingly pay paltry #50,000 to the students when states like Delta pay their prospective law school students #500,000. Some states support their students with #1,000,000. Plethora of law graduands waste away in Ondo state because of their inability to partake in the compulsory one-year programme at the law school which will qualify them bona fide barristers. The postgraduate students of Ondo state origin are not having a fair deal from his Excellency as well. Our various appeals for financial support have met a deadlock in his Excellency’s office. Empirical statistics today about the state of origin of most of the postgraduate students in the Nigerian Universities shows Rivers and Delta toping on the list. The responsive and commendable attitudes of their state governments cannot be gainsaid and faulted as part of the reasons responsible for this feat. In term of revenue allocation from the federal coffer in Nigeria, Ondo State is not lagging far behind these states. Then what have the youths of this state done to his Excellency, to deserve this inhuman treatment in our drive towards educational competence
that will qualify and enable us to compete with our counterpart from any part of Nigeria and the world at large. We have however taken solace in the failures of the general performance of the ruling class in Nigeria. The only period our leaders claim to be moved by the poverty and conspicuous suffering of the over sixty percent of the Nigerian population living below the poverty line according to the United Nations statistics, is during electioneering. Our demagogic leaders make promises of heaven on earth all to gain our votes and in return pay us with failed promises, increased poverty and sufferings. From Abuja to Akure, our educational policies have always failed to achieve its set objectives. No wonder the astronomical increase in thuggery, gangsterism and brigandism. A reliable source informed us that these unscrupulous people are on the pay list of his Excellency, at the different local governments and at Akure. They are enjoying and smilling to the bank at the expense of support for intellectualism. What a society!
On the way forward, the National Secretary dejectedly said nothing much can be done now. “There is much we can do from our end here but to consistently vociferate our grievances. We will continue to use every civil and legitimate medium to shout and let our voice be heard by the good people of Ondo State, until the concerned authority, talking about the State Government will see the need to heed to our plea for financial support. A lot of frustrated educated youths are taking to vices, thereby causing the society enormous stress and resources to grapple with their problem. Those of us who have decided to be law-abiding, pursuing our academic peregrination with faith that all we will be well after the completion of our postgraduate programmes should not be pushed to the path of being a threat to our society.