By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A University Don, Prof. Ikudaisi Daniel Olorunfemi on Wednesday charged Civil Society Groups in Nigeria to protest against Senators to refund the thirty six million Naira they allegedly collect monthly for “Constituency Projects” without nothing to show for.
The Professor of Environmental Management &Toxicology made the assertion on Wednesday just as he said the Nigerian Government is not ready to fund schools.
Prof. Olorunfemi said the Nigerian lawmakers are only interested in buying wheel barrows, cutlasses, tricycles and other minor tools for youths as empowerment despite the huge amount of money they collect monthly as constituency project.
Prof. Olorunfemi of Environmental Management& Toxicology with the University of Benin,Edo State lamented that there are no adequate budgetary provisions for education.
Prof. Olorunfemi who spoke at the Annual Conference of the Media and Civil Societies Advocacy organized by the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice,CEPEJ at Ugolo in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State said,”Government are not ready to fund schools.”
Prof. Olorunfemi stated that in line with the National University Commission’s guidelines, a teacher is not supposed to teach more twenty students in a classroom.
He said,”We now have 500 students in a classroom today but when you ask them to pay,they are angry.”
Prof. Olorunfemi stressed that graduates have reduced themselves to comedy as a profession.
According to him,”it is an aberration for Nigerian graduates to take to comedy as a professional career. “Graduates,lawyers and doctors have taken to comedy. Why did he go to school at all.”
Prof. Olorunfemi also called on the CSO’s to collect and disseminate information’s as well as educate citizens and others through advocacy and ensure that government are held accountable.
“Without CSO’s,we are in trouble. It appears it is only the CSO’s government now fears.
Prof. Olorunfemi also gave Journalists guidelines in covering or reporting the environments.
The Academician said journalists should not cover the environment from their Offices insisting that they must go to the scene of events.
He said they must get the history of any developments and beware of scientific jargons and grossly news but to keep it simple.
“Don’t just throw figures at your audience. Try to work with experts. It will help your work.
Prof. Olorunfemi said Journalists must gather information from the grassroots level, liase with NGO(CSO’s) for accurate information just as he warned against collecting data from Ministries. “All of them are liars. What they give you is wrong.”
“Gather information from researchers. Go to Government and other places including businesses,internet proceedings. Your facts must be okay. Please check your sources. Use several sources. Go to the grassroots level. That is where the action is. You must learn to write well. Make use of photographs. Increase your knowledge of understanding. Consult with your editors for supports as well as the people.”
Earlier in an address, the National Coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Comrade Sheriff Mulade said the civil society and the media are playing key oversight roles in the defense and sustenance the nation’s fledgling democracy.
“This is why it is most appropriate to promote an enabling environment for civil society and media initiatives such as dialogues at various levels designed to foster cooperation and trust between the non government civil societies and the media should be encouraged.”
“Civil societies no doubt have a critical role to play in building a culture of integrity in a volatile country such as ours. However civil societies in our country are seriously threatened by contentious regulatory bill on Non Governmental Organizations.
“The bill which had passed the first and second readings is currently at the committee stage.